Slideshow: Little Stevie’s massive ambitions.

By ADAM LAZZARI AT four and a half foot tall, Stevie Harrow is one of the smallest 12-year-olds around. But the Manea-based gymnast, who will be competing in next year s British Championships, has massive ambitions. Father, Steve Harrow, said: Her ultima

By ADAM LAZZARI

AT four and a half foot tall, Stevie Harrow is one of the smallest 12-year-olds around.

But the Manea-based gymnast, who will be competing in next year's British Championships, has massive ambitions.

Father, Steve Harrow, said: "Her ultimate goal is to compete in an Olympics. She'll be approaching 16 by London 2012 so there's a possibility she will be able to compete in that. If she doesn't make it she will have plenty of other opportunities and if she continues to progress the way she has done, she has an excellent chance of becoming an Olympic gymnast."


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Harrow, a member of Bury Spectrum Gymnastics Club, in Bury St Edmunds, qualified for the British Championships last month.

Competing at the Rushmoor Gymnastics Centre, in Aldershot, she needed a score of at least 44 to qualify.

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She scored 12.250 on the beam, then a personal best 11.950 on the floor, followed by 11.550 on vault and 9.100 on A-bars, giving her a total of 44.850 and top place in the espoir section, for competitors up to the age of 12, and 11th in the juniors, aged 14-16.

This result follows a series of impressive performances from Harrow.

She came second in her age group of the FIG county competition on November 2 with a score of 44.20.

At the English Gymnastics Championships, in Wiltshire, she entered the junior section for gymnasts aged up to 14 and finished 29th out of 55.

In September Harrow scored 44.325 to finish third in the 12-13 age group section of Eastern Counties Gymnastic Association Regional Championships, in Ipswich.

Mr Harrow said: "When you see Stevie come out school she looks tiny compared to her classmates - she's up to most of their shoulders.

"She's quite quiet in school and when they have gym practise she really plays it down and just does the same as everyone else.

"But she trains so hard and her quiet manner really hides her steely determination.

"She usually trains six times a week and often clocks up 25 hours a week in training but still manages to keep up with her school work. She often does her home work in the car on the way to training.

"Stevie's small frame is ideal for gymnastics as it helps her agility. She just needs to work on her strength and that will come with age, but she certainly seems to have the mental strength to be able to cope with the pressure.

"Stevie's mother and I end up paying between £10,000 and £15,000 on her gymnastics, but we believe she has a special talent and we want to give her every opportunity to succeed."

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