Keep an eye out for William Fu-Allen on an Olympic podium in 2024.
The 16-year-old gymnast is one of the most promising young athletes in the country and has recently represented New Zealand in two international competitions.
William has been in the New Zealand high-performance “360” gymnastic squad for a year and has competed for New Zealand three times since becoming an under-18 international.
First was the Valerie Liukin Invitational Tournament in Houston last Christmas where he won gold on vault and bronze on pommel before he went on to compete at the Pacific Rim Championships in Columbia in April.
This was against many of the best under-18 gymnasts in the world and, despite not having his best outing, William finished 14th in the all-around competition. “It was my first international competition as a junior international, I didn’t do particularly well but it was a huge experience,” William says.
The Nelson College student says he learnt a great deal watching how the best of the best go about their business.
“Being there with all these amazing Olympic level athletes was awesome, it was inspiring.”
He says he has tried to implement the techniques of these athletes into his own training. “What I learned at that competition has led to what I have been doing in the gym recently.”
Following his international debut, William went on to compete in the Australian Championships where NZ U17 won the team silver medal and William also won bronze on pommel.
The Kiwis also defeated their trans-Tasman rivals for the Australasian Cup. “I was pretty happy with that as I hit personal bests on both days.”
The event also doubled as a trial for the Youth Olympics in Argentina this year.
Only one athlete from Oceania was selected and while he didn’t get the top spot, which went to his team mate from Auckland, William is the first reserve.
William’s focus will now shift to the New Zealand domestic series.
He began his career at just six-years-old and competes in floor, pommels, rings, vault and the high bar disciplines.
After getting a taste of international competition, he is now aiming to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “Winning medals at nationals is amazing but representing New Zealand has definitely been the highlight.”
William says he has a haul of “a hundred and something medals” that he has collected over the years.
Despite the 20-plus hours of training a week, the prodigious young talent also managed to get endorsed excellence at NCEA level 1 last year.
He says while he enjoys school, it can sometimes be a battle to get through before he can get back to the gym.
William says he loves the diverse nature of the sport. “It’s a beautiful sport, it’s always changing, there are over 2000 skills you can learn on a single apparatus.”