LAURA Halford admitted it felt like all her Christmas’ had come at once after she used the inspiring figure of teammate Frankie Jones to win Commonwealth Games silver.
Cricklade's Halford was part of a Welsh rhythmic gymnastics team bringing an end to the first day of Glasgow 2014 in the team all-around, and they did so in style as they finished second having been in the podium positions throughout.
Halford, Jones, who carried the Welsh flag into the opening ceremony on Wednesday, and Nikara Jenkins combined to total a final score of 136.625 that gave them silver.
Canada took gold with 141.450 while bronze went to Malaysia with 135.825 and Halford couldn’t hide her excitement at what she managed to achieve with Olympian and hoop silver medallist from Delhi 2010 Jones.
“I was really pleased with my performances. There were a few things that I need to improve upon for the individual events but I just want to think about doing my best and putting in the same performance as I did,” she said.
“If I do that I will be happy however I do as long as my routines are good. Frankie is definitely an inspiration, she supports us all of the time especially in training if we are having a bad day.
“She has been through it all before and she can teach us and we are learning from the best.”
England had to make do with a cruel fourth-place finish after totaling 132.100 but Stephani Sherlock, Halford's Esprit clubmate, remained proud.
“I am a little bit disappointed and we all made a few mistakes and that is why we didn’t come in the podium places,” she said.
“But I am still really pleased with the team. We were strong and we kept together until the end.
“I am just happy to be here. The support is amazing and this experience will be with me forever and I can build on it.”