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East Lancashire firm’s gym kit proves a winner at the Olympics
AN East Lancs gymnastics company has proved to be the springboard to Great Britain’s medal-winning dreams.
Gymnova has provided the gymnastic equipment for the artistic and trampolining events in the North Greenwich Arena, formerly the O2, and the rhythmic gymnastics competitions at Wembley Arena.
On Monday the men’s gymnastics team scooped a bronze medal exceeding the expectations of experts, and last night the women’s team also competed to be the best.
Equipment installed by the company includes men’s rings, vault, high bar, pommel horse, and ladies beams, asymmetric bars, matting, and trampolines for the training halls, warm-up areas and competing arenas.
The French firm, which has a base at Eden Works in Colne Road, Kelbrook, is also an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And employees from the firm, which sponsors Olympic medal-hopeful Beth Tweddle, have been watching the games.
Phillip Wattleworth, 56, general manager for the UK, said: “It has been a fabulous honour to be involved in the Olympics. This the first Olympic Games that the company has had the privilege to be part of.”
The company signed the contract with the London Organising Committee in April 2010 and has been working towards the games ever since. Phillip is based in London during the games. He said: “It is largely about logistics. We have had to make sure it runs smoothly and it has required a lot of organisation.
“It was a bid process and there were a number of companies around the world trying to win this very prestigious contract. To be brought to the attention of the world-wide gymnastic community is a great opportunity for the company.” Because the stadia are used for multiple events, Gymnova’s team of technicians have to remove the equipment after the majority of the events ahead of the next day’s competition. He said it normally takes three hours to move the equipment and do safety checks after each event.
Phillip said he believes Team GB are in with a good chance. He said: “I think Beth Tweddle will take the title, and I think Louis Smith has a very good chance of getting the gold in the individual events.”