Apologies for the poor quality of video everyone, I recorded them sat in front of the computer screen. If any higher quality become available, I will replace them.
England claimed the first gold on finals day at the school games, with Sophie Scott performing a high Yurchenko full with great form through the air, and a just a slightly off center landing for her first vault. Sophie is one of I believe only three first year juniors to be competing this vault, so started with equal highest D score on vault 1, and scored 14.00 for her opening effort.
For her second Vault, Sophie went for the straight Yurchenko, again performed very well, and landed straight down the middle for a 9+ E score, 13.55, and the gold medal with an average of 13.775.
Casey Jo Bell took home a silver medal for Northern Ireland with a straight Yurchenko opening vault, just a little bent armed on hitting the table, but great height and shape off, just a step back on landing for 13.3. Her second vault a high open handspring tuck front with a step on landing scored exactly the same, so average 13.3.
Maisie Methuen came into the final with the highest overall D score, but unfortunately fell on her first vault the pike front half, taking her out of the running for gold. 12.850 not the start she would have wished for, but she came back strongly with an excellent pike front second vault, high, just a tiny bit out of line, but stuck cold for a 9.1 E score, and 13.275 was enough for the bronze medal.
Jolie Ruckley vaulted a lovely straight Yurchenko, then a very high open tuck Yurchenko for her second vault. A large step on landing for the tuck, mostly due to the excess of power, and a very promising vaulter as she is one of the younger gymnasts in the competition. 13.150 Average for 4th place
Laura Beasley vaulted a straight Yurchenko for her first vault, a few form issues coming on, it’s hard to see whether she has one arm slightly more bent that the other, or one slightly in front of the other, but which ever it is sends her a little off line. High with good shape coming off though, a step back and 13.350. With Laura’s second vault, the feed only showed the run up, and the landing which is unfortunate, but I believe it was a tucked Yurchenko for which she scored 12.45, for an average of 12.90.
Zoe Simmons unfortunately sat down her first vault the pike front, scoring 11.85. She did much better on her second vault, the tucked front, good height, and very tidy coming off, but as with her first vault, quite a leg separation coming on which she will be looking to work on to up her E score in the future. 13.35 for a 12.60 average.
Sofia Ramzan opened with a nice piked Tsuk, landed straight down the middle for 13.00. She came on very high for her second vault the piked Yurchenko meaning she wasn’t able to get much block from the table causing her to under rotate landing very low, and having to take a step forward. 12.20 for the second vault, and a12.60 average.
On to bars, where it was a clean sweep of the medals for the Welsh girls, and another gold for Latalia Bevan. Latalia won this final with her higher D score, a big Jaeger caught on straight arms, then a little short on handstand in to the toe on where she then had to fight to pull it back into handstand. Great shoot half, then shoot back to high bar, again a little short on handstand after the upstart, great stadler, a bit late on the giant full, then finishing with a double pike which was a little under rotated causing a step forward. 12.75 from 4.9 for the gold.
Maisie Methuen took the silver with a routine that swung really well, but it looks like she may have had a bit of arm bend on her opening close bar elements. It’s not easy to see on the video, but they don’t look as clean as she has performed them. Still, toe on and off to toe Shap is a great new opening sequence for Maisie in the second half of this year. Big Tkatchev, then short clear immediately to shoot half with just the smallest leg form issue. Maisie has a long sequence on the high bar after her toe shoot back up, blind in, forward, top out, giant, giant full, giant, giant, double back. She shuffles a little getting back to the middle of the bar for her giant full, and the full out dismount was missing these championships which as I wrote about in the AA report might be as she was a little wild in the legs coming off the bar, so better to tidy up and bring it back deduction free. 12.70 from 4.7 Maisie was 0.1 higher on D score in the AA, which would have been enough for the title, but she had to settle for silver today
Jolie Ruckley completed the clean sweep for Wales taking the bronze. Starting well with her Tkatchev, then blind in on top of the bar, top out, and down to the low bar with a shoot half. Like her compatriots, legs together, toes pointed, beautiful form and extension. A little bent in the arms on the toe on and off, and a late turn from the giant full once she was back to the high bar, but a high stuck double back, and a good routine for 12.6 and the highest E score of the final.
Megan Parker came in as the highest qualifier to the final, with the equal highest D score, so would have been looking to take the title here. Starting well, she uses the bounce of the bar, and the same beautiful form we are used to seeing from her meant she was off to a good start with blind in on top of the bar, forward giant, then through to a high Jaeger catch easily on straight arms. Good shoot half, lovely toe on, then didn’t get the toe full on top of the bar, causing her to fall. A huge shame given the quality of work. Megan finished well with a lovely high double pike, but the damage was done, and she had to settle for 4th place with 12.10.
Casey Jo Bell showed the only Gienger and Pak of the competition which was good to see. She has a very powerful swing, most noticeably in her wind up giants to her double straight dismount, the issues come for Casey on her E score really where she is getting a few deductions for bent arms, and will be getting quite a bit taken from her E score on her turns, both top turns, and the giant full which she wasn’t able to keep under control today. There is actually quite a lot of potential here as it’s great to see a gymnast swinging with such strength and commitment, if Casey can harness the power she has here, then she could score a lot higher on this piece. 11.85 for Casey today.
Laura Beasley is building on bars, she doesn’t yet have all the bar changes required, and she needed an empty swing today, but there is a strong swing there, again there are form issues, and some timing/technique adjustments to be made on turns, but there is commitment and power as well as a big piked Jaeger, and a double straight dismount, so I will be interested to see her progress on this piece in the future. 11.70 today for Laura.
Louise McColgan was another to come to grief on bars, her double layout dismount causing her to sit down. Bars isn’t Louise’s strongest piece, and there were the same form issues as there were in the AA, the leg separation on the blind turn, and the bent arm catch on the stalder shoot will have given the E panel opportunity to deduct, as well as the giant full being late. She did do her Jaeger very well though, and her close bar work is good, so definitely positives to be taken from the routine. 10.950 today with the fall, and 7th place.
Taeja James had one of those routines that one day after the many successful bars finals that she will contest in the future, she will be able to look back and smile about. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way, and that’s just how it is. Taeja actually qualified in third place with one of the lower start values which gives an indication of the quality of her work on this piece, but today she started with an over cooked handstand, and although she didn’t come off the bars, she went over the top, and took a lot of empty swings before she got going again. Hit cast, swing to big high Tkatchev with great counter rotation and swing out, high flighted shoot half with legs locked together, and dropping into handstand on the low bar. A bit of a bent arm catch on the shoot to high bar, but another hit cast, then going for the giant full, she just undercooked the turn in, and had to count a fall. Taeja repeated the skill showing how well she can do it, completing the turns on top of the bar, then finished with a high full out. 10.10 today, but we will the reigning Espoir bars champion back in the medals on this piece without a doubt.