Benfleet gymnast Nicola Willis has confirmed herself as Britain's number one at the floor exercise.

Ex Deanes School, Thundersley, girl Nicola, 16, followed up her British floor title triumph earlier in the year by finishing as our top scorer in that section at the World Artistic Gym Championships in Ghent, Belgium.

Nicola scored 9.050 on the floor, but the British squad finished ninth in the team competition - just 0.076 of a point outside winning a place among the top eight line-ups who went through to contest the overall title.

Two British girls, Elizabeth Tweddle and Holly Murdoch, did earn the right to fight for the individual all-round title tomorrow, but Nicola will now be concentrating her efforts on next years' European Championships and Commonwealth Games, taking place on British territory at Manchester.

Nicola is a member of the South-Essex Club at Basildon's Cranes Farm Road where Annika Reeder, who won the British floor title for the five years previous before her retirement after the Sydney Olympics, is now coaching following her retirement.

Nicola was joined in Ghent by fellow South Essex Club member Caroline Gilbert who, returning from injury, was named as reserve.