Gymnast Kendal calls it a day at 17!

AFTER eleven years Eyemouth gymnast Kendal Smith has decided to retire from four piece artistic gymnastics.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 12:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 1:08 pm

The 17-year-old's decision comes after she failed to achieve the scores required for the Commonwealth Games, and although Kendal again earned a place in the Scotland squad at trials in December, she felt that because she was only eligible for one competition this year due to age restrictions, this was no longer an option.

"It was quite a hard decision for me because I've done this for such a long time, but I thought I needed a bit more free time," Kendal explained.

The former Herring Queen decided to finish competing at the Scottish Championships which were held at Perth on February 27-28.

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Kendal had a decent all round competition on the Saturday of the Championships, when falls on the beam probably lost her a bronze medal place to finish fourth behind three other Commonwealth Games squad girls. She also made all the apparatus finals on the Sunday, again a good competition, and with no falls on beam took the silver medal. On bars she finished in bronze medal position, fourth on floor and fifth vault.

Kendal, a pupil of Eyemouth High School, was given a special mention and bouquet of flowers from senior squad coach Sandy Richardson for her efforts to Scottish Gymnastics over the last six years.

Although this is the end of her career in four piece gymnastics, Kendal's love of the sport wouldn't allow her to walk away altogether, and she has now joined Midlothian team gym. She started training this week again at Lasswade alongside the senior team who are reigning British champions, and she is looking forward to the new challenges this may bring.

"The main difference with team gym is that It's a big group of people rather than just by yourself, and it's mainly floor," Kendal said. "I'm training with them twice a week compared to about five times a week before, so I can have some more free time while still doing gymnastics."

Kendal would like to thank the Berwickshire Sports Council and the Athlete Support Programme as well as family, friends and school for all the help and support she has been given over the years.