World silver for 'one-jump wonders'

Published 6:00am 11 December 2023

World silver for 'one-jump wonders'
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Harrison Lee with his World Trampolining Championship silver medal.

Newport’s Harrison Lee and Australian team-mate Sam Durkin were dubbed 'one-jump wonders' after their remarkable silver medal at the FIG World Trampoline Championships.

Lee and Durkin, who trains in Rockhampton, defied the odds to lead the 17-21 years men’s synchronised final in Birmingham last month.

Overcoming countless setbacks, they had one hand on a gold medal until the competition’s final pair, from Japan, pipped them.

Lee, 19, admitted he and Durkin had “zero expectations" of hitting their routine” and “didn’t expect to get among the medals”.

The duo had not competed together since July, when they won silver in a synchro competition in New Zealand.

Just before flying to the UK, Lee lost three weeks training due to concussion, while in Rockhampton, Durkin was sidelined by a knee injury.

Now based at Redlands City Gym Sports with coach of eight years Lyn Gilroy, Lee then had only three hours training in before departure through illness.

Lee and Gilmore arrived in UK having never performed their routine and on the day of competition were told they were in Flight 2, when it was actually in Flight 1.

When found by frantic stewards and told of the error, the pair had to go straight onto the competition floor without a warm-up.

“We laughed actually and thought this is going to be fun,” Lee said. “We had zero expectation of hitting that routine because we had no warm-up.

“I actually got a bit excited towards the end and almost came off! But we both looked at each other and thought how did we do that?

Harrison Lee with his coach of eight years Lyn Gilroy

“We didn’t think it was as good as it was. Then we saw the score and we were first! Others went and we were still first … until the Japanese.

“We were pretty excited with second,” said Lee, adding the stewards were so impressed they called them the “one-jump wonders”.

“I don’t think winning a medal really hit me until the next day or so, in the hotel, when I had it (the medal) with me.”

Lyn Gilroy was following the live scores back home as Lee and Durkin secured the first world medal of her coaching career.

“I was very proud of them,” she said, “the fortitude of these kids was just phenomenal.

Harrison Lee with his silver medal at the world championships

“The concussion, injuries, disruption to training, 10 hours a week down to four, not having performed this routine until they competed …. that’s what makes these athletes remarkable.”

Lee was also 32nd in the individual competition but with a personal best routine. “I was happy with it,” he said, “surprised by the level I did.”

Early plans for next year include targeting the Pan Pacific Games and possibly three internationals.

There are also hopes the world silver medal will lift Lee’s categorisation, exposure, funding and lead to more international competitions.

A number of trampolinists from this region have relocated with Lyn Gilroy to Redlands. Some are carpooling to help reduce the cost of travel.

Anyone who can help with funding or sponsorship should phone 0447 852956.

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