Gymnast is aiming high
A gymnastics hopeful from Thetford is considering a future away from Britain unless a spot at next year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi can be assured.Ahmahd Thomas, 20, believes representing the nation at the Games is a realistic possibility but admits he could be forced to explore other avenues should he not compete in India, writes John Watts.
A gymnastics hopeful from Thetford is considering a future away from Britain unless a spot at next year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi can be assured.
Ahmahd Thomas, 20, believes representing the nation at the Games is a realistic possibility but admits he could be forced to explore other avenues should he not compete in India, writes John Watts.
“Performing at the Commonwealths is an achievable target but I realise it's not going to come easy,” said Thomas.
“It's going to take everything I've got to reach the level required to make the team and that's really all I'm working on at the moment. I definitely want to do it,” he added.
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Despite possessing the drive and determination necessary to succeed in British gymnastics, Ahmahd is beginning to weigh up his options following a year of mixed success.
A sterling performance at the prestigious World University Games in Belgrade over the summer was undoubtedly the highlight of Ahmahd's year, but this was marginally overshadowed by an unsatisfactory showing in the British Championships.
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However, whilst lending his support to Huntingdon team-mates Louis Smith and
Dan Keatings at London's O2 Arena in the World Artistic Championships recently, Ahmahd was approached about a potential scholarship offer in Michigan - which he admits could be a fantastic opportunity.
“It's something I have looked into and would like to do providing things don't work out the way I want them to next year.”
“I have been in regular contact with the Michigan University coach I met and I feel it would improve me as a gymnast if I went out there - I might need a change,” he added.
With funding available and the guarantee of more competitions to take part in, the Norfolk gymnast thinks an official offer could be too good to turn down. The scholarship would keep Ahmahd in America for three years and he could legitimately represent the USA gymnastics squad once it has been completed.
Competing against the world's hottest talent has left Ahmahd hungry for more international call-up's though and he feels building on his new experiences can help him break into Great Britain's top squad in the near future, alongside his friends Smith and Keatings.
“I'd prefer to stay here and compete in the Commonwealths rather than leave my friends and family. My ties and loyalties are here and I just need a little more self-belief to make it.”