The junior Olympic Region 7 gymnastic finals at Hammond High School today included some embarrassing slips on the parallel bars, some frightening spills from the rings, some very uncomfortable mishaps on the handles of the pommel horse and one face-first landing after a double-somersault dismount.
None of these concerned Terry Bartlett, the overall winner, and John Levy, the second-place finisher, both from the Gymnastrum Club of Reading, Pa. They executed their dismounts and performed their exercises seemingly without effort. Both advanced to the U.S. finals in Provo, Utah, June 25-26.
After Saturday's compulsories, Levy led Bartlett by three-tenths of a point. But Bartlett's 9.8 vault and Levy's miserable 6.8 parallel bar performance in today's optionals decided the overall championship.
About 100 spectators watched as Bartlett, a native of Great Britain training here, increased his chances of winning a spot on Great Britain's 1984 Olympic squad. Bartlett was quick to admit that gymnastic rewards are intrinsic and that money seldom finds a gymnast's pockets.
"But this is the toughest sport," he said. "It's so demanding. You have to master all those tricks on six events. It's strength with elasticity. If you're the champion at this sport, then you are the best."
Bartlett's chances of making Great Britain's Olympic team are real. But as for the 17-year-old developing into a world class competitor, that's a different matter. "I've been to Russia," he said, nursing a gash in his right hand received while mounting the high bar. "They are awesome. I wanted to leave."