With the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships having just come to a close in Doha, one Scottish gymnast watching avidly will have been City of Glasgow’s Kelvin Cham, perhaps with aspirations of one day taking to that World stage himself. Bronze medallist in the Team Event at Gold Coast 2018 in his first major championships, it’s been a quick rise to the elite level for the 20 year old, who claimed the Scottish All-Around title in his first year as a senior gymnast in 2017 on route to the Games.
“My experience in Gold Coast was amazing,” said Kelvin. “It was my first major competition and it gave me an insight of what it is like to compete and train at the top level. I loved preparing for the competition with the team and being in the village with other elite athletes. I learnt a lot from the Games and also from my older team mates, who have been many other big competitions.”
He was certainly in exalted company in Gold Coast as Olympic and World medallist Daniel Purvis and former European Junior All-Around champion Frank Baines returned to Team Scotland after securing a historic first team medal for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.
In a true team effort Kelvin, Daniel and Frank, along with David Weir and Hamish Carter, secured a second successive Team Event medal in Gold Coast, but it was far from plain sailing. Injured at the British Championships just weeks before the start of the Games, it was touch and go whether Kelvin would even be able to compete. He put in a strong performance until an awkward landing on his Rings routine aggravated his injury and ended his competition, earning high praise from Purvis in post event media interviews for his contribution to the team.
“My injury was three weeks before the competition, so it restricted which apparatus I could compete on during the Games,” said Kelvin. “It meant a lot to me to win a medal with the team because we worked so hard to get there and do our best. It was my first Games and I was nervous about how I would perform with my injury. I had lots on my mind but everyone around me was always helping.”
Taking time to fully rehab his injury after Gold Coast, Kelvin has not yet competed since the Games but is hungry to get back in the competition arena and has received a boost with the news that he has been awarded a PHM Athlete Award via the Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust.
“My next competition is Scottish championships at the start of next year and I am looking forward to compete at the start of 2019 fully fit,” he said. “The PHM Athlete Award means a lot because I’m not funded currently and have to coach to make money. I’m proud to have been selected for this Award and I am very grateful that I am being supported in my journey. In the next year I would love to be competing fully fit against the top gymnasts in Great Britain and Birmingham 2022 is 100% my next big aim.”