AN ambitious gymnast has set his sights on flying to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Adam Steele topped the podium in the parallel bars at the Northern European Championships, in the Faroe Islands, last month.

The 20-year-old was also awarded a silver medal in the pommel horse and a bronze medal in the high bar at the competition.

With such incredible results, Adam, of Albemarle Street, Harwich, is now aiming to represent Ireland in the upcoming Olympics Games.

He said: “My motivation is to get to the Tokyo Olympics as it is now possible to get there. It has been my goal all along.”

Adam was born in Colchester to parents Maria Steele, 49, and Paschal Cleary, 53 - who is from Limerick, in Ireland - and moved to Harwich when he was three.

As one of seven siblings, Adam tried out a range of sports with some of them before he discovered is talent for gymnastics.

He said: “It’s a funny story how I got involved with gymnastics really.

“I was always quite an active child, so I started out with swimming lessons, then I tried kickboxing.

“But I wasn’t a violent kid and I just used to end up rolling around on the floor.

“Then my kickboxing teacher advised me to try out gymnastics, so that is how it all started.”

Adam was six when he started gymnastics at Colchester Gymnastics Centre, before he moved to Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, in Ipswich when he was about nine.

“When I was younger, I was best at the vault and the floor, but I did not realise I was good until I was about ten or 11,” he said.

But Adam’s success in the sport has not come without dedication and a strict training schedule.

He said: “I am in the gym almost every day.

“I train for about 20 to 24 hours a week, and on top of that I teach at the gym for 20 hours a week.

“I am there every day apart from Sundays.”

Adam is coached by William Banthorpe and Andrew Crawford, and he teaches children aged between four and 13. With their help, Adam was able to take part in the European Championships, in Bern, Switzerland, last year.

He said: “The biggest competition I have been part of was the European Championship. It really was the time of my life and such an amazing experience.”

But he said his greatest achievement was getting gold, silver and bronze medals in the Northern European Championship this year.

He said: “It came as a big shock to win the medals, and it came out of the blue for me to win gold.

“Next year are the European Championships, in Glasgow, then we have to see if we can make it to the finals to get good scores.

“If I did well then they would send me to the World Championships.”

If Adam does well in the World Championships, he will have to wait until 2020 to find out if he has made the Irish Olympic team.

He said: “I honestly cannot find words to explain how I would feel if I was got into the Olympics - even going to the championships alone has been an amazing experience.”