Latest News 27/04/15 British Juniors in France.

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British Juniors Maisie Methuen (Phoenix Gymnastics), Lucy Stanhope (Liverpool) , Georgia Mae Fenton (East London), Abigail Solari (The Academy), Louise McColgan (Largs) and Phoebe Turner (The Academy) traveled to France to take on the French and Swiss under 15 teams in a three way junior international. The British girls finished in second place with 160.550 behind France in first with 162.200, and Switzerland taking the bronze with 156.100.

Individually Georgia Mae Fenton took bronze in the AA with 53.300. Switzerland’s Livia Schmid took the silver with 54.300 and France’s Juliette Bossu topped the field with 53.450.

With three places open to juniors born 2000/2001 for EYOF at the end of July, and it being reasonable to suggest Catherine Lyons will take one of them, the girls will have been keen to impress selectors before the team is finalised in the first week of June.

All videos courtesy of  Louise McColgan’s channel.

Maisie Methuen

Crowned British Espoir champion in December 2014, and second only to Catherine Lyons at the recent British championships, first year junior  Maisie Methuen is going very well indeed.

Maisie vaults a high, tidy, piked handspring front, on bars she has a good Tkatchev, strong swing with straight arms throughout, and a high full out dismount (a little wild in the legs at the start today). There were a couple of short casts, but a couple of lovely ones too, and her close bar elements are very strong.

I don’t know whether she competed beam in France or not, but until video appears I’m including her recent performance at the British just so that those who are new to this gymnast appreciate her talent here.

On floor Maisie showed a new routine, a real performer on this piece, Maisie is understandably still growing into the new routine, but it is beautifully choreographed and performance wise coming along very well. A big double tuck, handspring straight front double twist, handspring full twist to stag jump, and a high double pike to end combined with excellent leaps showing range and amplitude, again one of her stronger pieces. Interestingly the double pike was opening the routine as recently as the British, so it looks like a full in opener isn’t far away.

Lucy Stanhope

Eighth at the recent junior British championships, first year junior Lucy Stanhope vaulted a lovely high full twisting Yurchenko with excellent flight and form. On bars she showed a good piked Jaeger, well executed turns other than one slightly late full, and a high above the bar double front dismount.

Lucy is impressive on beam, full twisting flick, then flick layout to open, unfortunately she then suffered a fall on the free walkover. Switch leap to switch side, and a good attempt at the switch ring. Flick to one-flick to two into a beautifully done one and a half twist. Definitely one to watch on this piece.

On floor, a big double pike, one and a half through to double twist, good flexibility on the leaps, double tuck, and a two and a half twist finished a good routine. Lucy is a fast neat twister, and this is a well choreographed and presented routine, that just needs a little more confidence in performance. Lucy is a lovely gymnast with huge potential, much of her work is ready for upgrades such is the performance quality, and well taught technique.

Georgia-Mae Fenton

Second year senior Georgia-Mae is well known for her beautiful work,  and is the type of gymnast fans of the sport love to watch purely for the quality of her work and her level of performance. On vault a relatively simple but well performed piked Yurchenko, bars one of her strongest pieces was as ever a treat from the junior British champion on this apparatus. Lovely toe on full, excellent Ricna and toe on Tkatchev, beautiful swing and pirouettes , and a great full out to finish. Georgia-Mae has what all great bar workers need, open shouldered swing ensuring straight body line, understanding of how to utilise the bounce of the bars, and neutral head positions to die for. This is why she’s so good on this piece, watch her, and then watch again.

On beam, switch leap to land in split mount, valdez-flick-layout opener, light free walkover, beautiful spin  with the free leg held high in full split, linked to the back spin, switch leap to sissone, a little under par amplitude wise today, a great fee cartwheel, then a double twist dismount that was a little off today, but possibly as she has been training the double tuck. Around the skills is a great routine with intricate and beautifully presented choreography flowing seamlessly. A long time ago Olesya Dudnik did a Diamidov turn from her valdez on beam, something that Georgia-Mae could pull off beautifully.

Floor, and Georgia-Mae has a new routine for this year. Not a powerful gymnast, Georgia-Mae presently  relies more on her dance elements to build her difficulty. Excellent leaps and spins as usual along with her customary presentation and performance quality make this a hugely enjoyable routine overall.

Abi Solari

Abi vaulted a tucked front half that was so well flighted that she disappears out of view on the video! Mixed fortunes on bars today with a great Maloney and a strong Tkatchev, but a few problems with pirouettes, the late full, and a save on the blind in consequently slowing the forward giant down meant there was room for improvement, but it was well fought.  A great double front finished the routine on a positive note.

Abi works very well on beam, she starts with a strong switch leap-sissone, following with a really high powerful flick layout with beautiful form. A little off on the switch side today, and unfortunately the double spin took her off the beam. Likely not having quite gathered herself from the fall, she wasn’t able to control what was again a very good free walkover saving the skill with a large wobble. A good free cartwheel and a flick to one-flick to two one and a half twist finished the routine. Although not the best outing on this piece today, the acrobatics are very impressive height and form wise, potentially a strong beam worker.

Abi is one of the stronger tumblers on the British junior team, opening with a big full in, she was unfortunate in that she pulled it round a little hard then didn’t open and lift the chest for landing resulting in over rotation. Back with a high double pike, then a one and a half twist, and finishing with a big double tuck. Her leaps have good amplitude, range and form, and there are some nice touches to the routine choreographically. A little more performance confidence should come with time.

Abi is an interesting gymnast, there really  is a lot of potential in her work paired for now with the rough edges that juniors can sometimes carry.  I can see them being ironed out as she develops into a strong successful senior gymnast.

Louise McColgan

Louise McColgan has come on leaps and bounds in the last year, always a popular gymnast renowned for her expressive floor routines, 4th place AA, bronze on beam, and silver on floor at the British was an excellent start to her junior career.

In France, Louise vaulted a new for this year straight Yurchenko. A little closed in the hips still, but a great upgrade. On bars she is most comfortable working close bar elements, with a good in-bar stalder early in the routine. Safely through the toe shoot and Jaeger, both new this year,and finishing with a nice double layout.

Louise started beautifully on beam, a real performance gymnast, she moves sharply, confidently and with great fluidity here. A great standing tuck then sheep jump, free walkover-sissone-w jump combination sharp and connected with confidence. A good flick-layout and this was looking like a great routine. She unfortunately got the timing wrong on her spin, pulling hard  sending her body away from the vertical as opposed to the free leg moving in isolation. It took her off the beam which was a real shame. A lovely switch leap in to free cartwheel, again coming away from the apparatus. Finishing with a neat high double tuck, not her day here, but this girl is a great beamer in the making.

A traditionally expressive and engaging performance from Louise on floor, Russian choreographers always say that with small gymnasts all movements must be big in order to convincingly fill a large floor area with a little body. Louise’s routine embodies this approach. Impressively she has been able to upgrade her tumbling  considerably to be competitive within the junior ranks. Last year she tumbled double pike, double twist,double tuck, this year piked full in, triple twist, double pike. Excellent stuff from the young Scottish gymnast.

Phoebe Turner

The second member of the team based at The Academy, Phoebe vaults a strong full twisting Yurchenko lifting well and maintaining good body shape throughout. There isn’t currently footage of her bars and beam available if she did compete them, but I will add them should they appear.

On floor Phoebe shares the same music with Ellie Downie, she starts with a lovely two and a half twist to punch front, neat, precise, and confidently performed. Tumbling back with a superb triple twist, clean, high, and absolutely no doubt over rotation as all the twisting is done with time to spare to drop neatly back to the floor. The leaps are well attempted, but do have a room for improvement in lift and range. Another good twisting pass, this time handspring straight from with a double twist, then fulfilling the short axis requirement with a high double tuck to end. Great work from Phoebe here.

Although there were mistakes in places, there was also a lot of very encouraging work from all the British girls, much to be proud of, and take forward. It’s great to see that all the girls are working within their means, there is nothing thrown, the focus on good technique and form is a real positive. Well done to all gymnasts and coaches, the future of British gymnastics continues to look bright.