Published: 10:00, 11 June 2020
| Updated: 11:39, 11 June 2020
Courtney Tulloch and James Hall are among the elite gymnasts back in training.
The Olympic hopefuls from Maidstone are part of a small group of Britain’s top gymnasts that have been asked to return.
British Gymnastics - the UK’s governing body for the sport - announced this week that following a consultation process involving gymnasts, coaches and clubs, a small group would take part in light training.
Both Hall and Tulloch had been competing successfully for Great Britain prior to the coronavirus lockdown in World Cup series events.
At the American Cup in Milwaukee, in early March, Hall clinched a bronze medal.
The British all-round 2019 champion and Commonwealth gold medalist was back in the gym on Tuesday and tweeted: “Been a long time and I couldn’t be happier to return!
“For those who are still waiting, have a little more patience and you’ll be back doing what you love in no time.”
It was a similar message from fellow Pegasus gymnast and double Commonwealth Games’ champion Tulloch, who wrote: “I’m so buzzing to get back in the gym and back to work.
“For all younger gymnasts who aren’t back yet, please be patient your time will come soon.”
Earlier this year Tulloch had represented Great Britain in Australia and Azerbaijan.
In February’s Melbourne event he made the final in the rings, qualifying second and finishing fifth overall. He was 10th in the vault qualifiers - finishing ahead of fellow Brit Hayden Skinner - but it wasn’t enough to make those finals.
He also reached the finals in Baku in March, but they were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That also led to the World Cup event in Birmingham, scheduled for March, to be cancelled.
British Gymnastics said: “In line with the UK Government guidelines regarding a return to training for elite athletes, our first cohort of gymnasts - those in contention for Tokyo Olympic qualification - have begun to return to gymnastics training this week.
“Comprehensive protocols have been put in place across all identified training environments to ensure social distancing is kept, medical screening is in place, and regular cleaning procedures are undertaken.”
British Gymnastics performance director James Thomas said: "We recognise that this is a significant step within our sport but also in context understand that at this point it is a ‘return to training’ for only a very small group of gymnasts.
"Working through the return to training processes and protocols has been a fantastic group effort between our staff, the gymnasts, clubs and coaches.
“Each gymnast has had online meetings with their respective head national coach to develop a training plan that will initially see them undertake very basic and short sessions as they need time to build their skills and gymnastics fitness back up. We will be monitoring every session, providing advice and assistance every step of the way to support a safe return."
British Gymnastics add that they are continuing to prepare for a return to gymnastics training for elite programmes across all gymnastics disciplines, as well as the wider community, as soon as the UK Government guidelines allow.
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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