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Joe Fraser: GB Gold Medallist

English gymnast Joe Fraser has become the first Brit in history to win a gold medal in parallel bars. His achievement was even greater because at 20, he was the youngest competitor in the event at the recent World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

It was also Fraser's first individual world gold medal (achieved with a score of 15.000) that took Britain's total at the championships to four. Max Whitlock won gold on the pommel horse, Becky Downie won silver on the uneven bars and there was a bronze for her younger sister, Ellie, on the vault.

Their success story marks the first time a Great Britain team has won more than one gold at a single world championships. Fraser beat Turkey's Onder Ahmet into silver medal position with a score of 14.983, while Kaya Kazuma of Japan took bronze with 14.966.

© Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo

 

Career highlights

Born in Birmingham in December 1998, Fraser has been a British senior team member since 2017. He had remarkable success as a junior, becoming the 2015 European Youth Olympics all-around champion and winning all-round silver in the 2014 British Championship under 16s.

In his first year as a senior, he won a team silver medal in the European Artistic Gymnastic Championships, the all-round title at the British Championships 2017, a gold medal at the same event on the high bar, silver on rings and bronze on parallel bars.

In 2018, Fraser won silver as part of the team at the European Championships in Glasgow. He then won silver on the high bar in March 2019, at the British Championships, where he also won bronze on parallel bars. He narrowly missed the bronze medal by 0.033 points at the 2019 European Championships at the all-round final.

His success at the World Gymnastics Championships is the pinnacle of his career to date and has made history.

 

Training

Fraser trains at the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club with his coach of 8 years, Lee Woolls. When Fraser had finished his routine at the world championships, they had an anxious wait. Home favourite Lukas Dauser of Germany and Ukraine's Petro Pakhniuk had posted higher scores than Fraser to qualify. Making all those years of training seem worthwhile, it was  Fraser who posted the highest score!

After his surprise victory, Fraser said he had "tried to keep it very relaxed, like training". Before the event, he had psyched himself up before going to sleep by listening to a song called "Winner" on repeat. He said he thought it might make a difference subconsciously.

Woolls joined the City of Birmingham Club when Fraser was only ten years old, but he was already a rising star and the coach recognised his massive potential from the start.

Following Fraser's gold medal, Woolls wrote on his Instagram account, "Back in 2008, I moved to the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club and had the pleasure of working with a little boy with big dreams. Today stands in front of me a man."

 

Olympic dream

Fraser's gold medal and his teammates' victories have set them up for next summer's Tokyo Olympics. At Rio in 2016, Great Britain's gymnastics team won six medals and a seventh on trampoline, finishing third in the table behind the United States and Russia.

Fraser and the other remarkable athletes will have a lot to live up to when they make their bid for Olympic glory in summer 2020. He says he learns new lessons all the time from his training and competitions and will be taking what he has learned to the Olympics.

Experience has taught him to keep energy levels high throughout long periods, especially when a competition is going on for many hours. The gruelling individual disciplines include the horizontal bars, floor, pommel, rings and the high bar.

As he now starts preparation in earnest for the Olympics, Fraser says working on his stamina is a "major thing". The experience of winning his amazing gold medal is something he plans on taking into the future. "There are always areas I can learn from," he says, as he looks forward to a bright future in gymnastics.

Whether you're a world-class competitor or you train for fun and fitness, you should always maintain safety by using the correct equipment.  Coruba's high-quality gym rubber matting ensures you have the perfect environment to practice your moves!

Please contact us for further information on our wide range of studio rubber matting.



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