RISING TO VICTORY: Freddy James wins state title
GYMNASTICS: A simple piece of advice from Freddy James's grandmother has helped him to become the best in the state.
The talented 10-year-old became Gymfinity's first state champion in more than two years after claiming first place in level 4 at the championships in Brisbane this month.
In a close contest, James came out on top with an overall score of 56.265 points ahead of Zachary Thomas from Brisbane and Liam Goodman from Maroochydore.
The difference between the trio was 0.167 points.
"I didn't win by much,” an honest James said.
"It was a really big surprise and I didn't think I was going to get anything.”
James said what worked for him was not getting nervous.
"I don't think I did anything different to my training,” he said.
"My grandma told me to breathe through my nose and out through my mouth, which is what I did.”
Whatever he did worked wonders in the vault.
The level 4 gymnast scored 10.4 out of a possible 10.5 points in the apparatus to achieve an almost-perfect score and win gold.
It was also the difference between first and third for James.
"In vault I did everything right except for one step, so I got a 10.4,” he said.
"I think I did quite good on the floor as well but I didn't get the bonus because I wasn't quite tidy enough.”
The most important thing for James wasn't the state championship.
It was the fact he defeated his sister, Evelyn James, who still finished a respectable 41st in level 4 for her U9 age group.
"It was perfect because I said she wouldn't beat me,” he said.
"She did really well though.”
James said he aimed to be a national champion one day and wanted to stay in the sport for as long as he could.
Gymfinity coach Tony Hogan said it was a fantastic achievement for James.
"Day one he was focused and he was on it, so it was great to see,” he said.
"Everything just hit for him on the day.
"He did everything exactly like training.”
Hogan said the performance would put him in good stead for the rest of his career, particularly his vault run.
"Pulling out a 10.4 was amazing and he was just one hop away from being dead perfect,” he said.
"It's amazing for him to experience that and to step up there and take home the first place.”
James wasn't the only success for Gymfinity with 22 other athletes competing at the event.
Hogan said the boys in particular did well against the best from the state.
"It was really pleasing to see that many kids do so well,” he said.
"We had really good results from the girls as well.”
The junior athletes will now train ahead of the new season starting next year.