LAURA Halford says claiming her fifth Welsh Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship title is a step in the right direction as she aims to qualify for the next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The competition, which took place in Cardiff at the weekend, was the first of five qualification competitions for the Games next summer.

Whilst claiming her fifth title, she also registered the qualifying score needed, so is now aiming for more consistency as she looks to further strengthen her hopes of qualifying.

“This Championships was the first qualifying event, so I did get the qualifying scores that I needed so now I just need to show consistency across the rest of the scores,” said Halford.

“If I can do that, then hopefully I have a good chance of being selected.

“I’ve definitely got confidence after getting those scores at the first try, because I still have improvements to make in my routines.

So hopefully my scores will go up even more, It also means I can kind of relax a bit more at the next four events and not have to worry too much.”

After winning her first Welsh crown in 2012, the 21-year-old insists she still gets great satisfaction from claiming the title five years on.

Halford takes great confidence that she has met the required score for the Commonwealths, but hopes to go one better when the British Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship rolls around later this month.

Having now finished university for the summer, where she studied Sport & Exercise at Cardiff Metropolitan University, the 21-year-old says she is now able to fully focus on her preparation for Liverpool at the end of the month.

“I definitely get the same buzz, it was a really good achievement for me and I was really happy with the performance I put in over the weekend,” added the Cricklade gymnast.

“I’m happy to be able to take the title again.

“I have new routines and they went pretty well. I still have a few small mistakes that I hope to fix for the British Championships, so my scores will only go up.

“Overall, I was really pleased with how they went.”

“It’s kind of frantic a frantic period. Thankfully I have finished university now, so all of my focus is on training and I can iron out the mistakes in my routines.

“All my weeks will used in the gym until then, I’ll be doing as much as I can to try and be as best prepared as I can be.”