As ever worlds has flown by, from the first podium training reports, to the final apparatus performance, it’s all over for another year. Or this time two years, as we all know that 2016 is that extra special year in the quad, where World Championships step aside to make way for the greatest show of all, the Olympic Games.
I’m running ahead though, there will be so much to write about Rio both over the next months leading to the team selection, through the games and beyond. For now, lets stay in Glasgow, and look at how the British team fared in apparatus finals.
Firstly qualification numbers. Four finals spread between three gymnasts meant equaling the 2014 result for the highest amount of places achieved.
Ellie began the finals action competing on vault. For a first year senior to qualify to one apparatus final is exceptional, Ellie qualified to two. Looking very relaxed on such a big stage, Ellie opened with her double twisting Yurchenko, a little off line on to the table, so naturally a little off line off it, and on landing, but still the huge block, easy full rotation, and power to spare on with a bounce back. A tiny bit down on her previous scores, but still an excellent vault.
Ellie is able to stop wrapping the twist with plenty of time to spare letting it finish rotating naturally with time to come in to land. There is without question having seen all of Ellie’s vaults throughout the Championships, the height and time for an Amanar.
14.966 (5.8 D 9.166 E)
As far as I’m aware, Ellie only debuted her new Lopez vault at the GB v Holland competition a few weeks ago, and it’s excellent. She turns so sharply onto the table, complete half turn, right in the middle with legs locked together. If you pause the video at 42 seconds you’ll see how precise it is. As you can see from the photo Ellie lifts from the vault to vertical with a completely straight body. She turns cleanly, and has so much power that she was still moving when she hit the floor so did take a large bounce back.
14.833 (5.6 D 9.233 E)
Fourth place, and a brilliant debut in her first of what I imagine will be many world finals over the years to come.
As well as the likely Amanar, the Lopez is so good that I wonder whether we shall also see a Cheng next year, the potential is certainly there. If Ellie manages both she will be there with the most competitive D score vaulters in the world, and as her gymnastics is usually only brought to competition when it is clean and fully ready for high E scores, should she compete both, she could without exaggeration challenge for the Olympic title.
Ellie’s words on her vaulting after the final, upgrades plural, interesting.
‘I’ve got some upgrades coming for next year so I know that when they’re ready that I could be pushing for those medals.’
Four bar routines, four hit routines for Ruby, and she saved the best of all for finals. I have said so many times both on here and the twitter account how good it is to see Ruby back, how strong she has been for the team, and how unbelievable it is she has been so strong having not even to be able to raise her arm above her head for the first six months of this year, let alone work on bars.
The third year in a row Ruby has made the World Championship bar final, that’s some consistency. Today she was better than she she has ever been. Every skill made, every cast hit, every connection made, and an absolutely stuck dismount for her highest score so far.
Ruby says she plans to upgrade on bars for next year, it’s always exciting to speculate as to what moves a gymnast may add, but with work as original and exciting as Ruby’s the 2016 season can’t come soon enough.
14.766 (6.3 D 8.466 E)
It was wonderful to see Claudia so strong at the World Championships having sustained an ankle injury at the start of the trialing process. Her second World Championships, and her second world floor final.
The opening double layout with full twist was completely nailed. So difficult, made to look so easy. It’s hard to tell from the angle on the video, but she may have been a little short on the change to ring, but then an excellent tour jete full. Claudia tumbled an absolutely huge double Arabian second tumble, a little too much power today, and a large step needed to stop the rotation, but she kept it in bounds.
I love the butterfly into the corner before the third tumble, her triple twist again looked so clean, stretched and improved. Nice split full to the corner, then ready for the final tumble.
Claudia says she just had a little too much adrenaline going into the final tumble, she is so powerful that if she pushes that bit too hard then she can over rotate which is what happened today. A big double straight to finish, but due to the extra power, not able to join the W jump today as she was still moving backward and took a step out of the floor area.
Regardless of the mistake on the final tumble, it was her highest score of the championships. Claudia has hugely difficult tumbles, great projection throughout, and is a fantastic performer.
Claudia has also mentioned that she too has upgrades that were nearly ready to go in, but not quite. Again it will be exciting to see what she brings to competition for next year.
14.466 (6.2 D 8.366 E 0.1 Pen.)
Ellie said before the floor final that she was delighted to be there, that she had hit the best routine she ever had, qualified eighth, and was happy that her best got her to the final, not really expecting any more. Ellie hadn’t scored over 14 on floor before this competition, she scored 14.40 in qualifying, then 14.10 in team final so already a huge achievement.
One and a half twist with completely straight legs through to double Arabian joined to stag jump to open. New, ambitious, impressive. I actually laughed when she did the piked double Arabian second tumble, it dropped out the sky as if she’d just jumped off a box the landing was so completely upright and stuck. A phenomenal start.
Ellie lifted through the change to change full more than she has all year, third tumble of beautiful two and a half to punch front to sissone. The only real error came on the double pike, a tiny bit short with the chest low on landing causing a hop forward. Split full, the full spin to finish. What a routine from Ellie, awarded her highest score so far, and 6th place.
I actually feel she was a little hard done by E score wise compared to a couple of the other finalists, but that’s just my opinion.
14.733 (6.0 D 8.733 D)
So what a World Championships it was, one of the best I remember. I loved the huge screen, the way the teams and individuals came out and were presented, the entire production.
I loved the judges being set back from the arena, it looked so clean with the focus just on the gymnasts. The entire championships was vibrant, exciting, and of course our most successful yet.
The team final was history made, and that two of those gymnasts were first year seniors brings nothing but anticipation for the years to come.
Amy and Ellie are big time competitors not phased by the world stage, rather fired up and inspired to produce their best, which several personal highest scores throughout the Championship confirm.
Kelly stepped up and hit all her routines, as well as being the first gymnast to perform the piked Galante on the world stage.
Bars may not have gone Becky’s way, a huge shame as she has the equal highest D score in the whole championships when she hits the routine, but she anchored the team on beam in both qualification and team final, hitting when it mattered under the highest of pressure, a true leader, and everything done with such poise and style.
Ruby hit four for four bar routines, but so much more than that, she hit every routine for the team when it counted having been away from competition for so long.
Claudia came back from an error on beam in qualifying to hit in team finals, and performed three amazing floor routines with some of the most difficult tumbling in the world.
The target for the championships was team final (and Rio qualification), two in the top 24 AA, two individual finals and a medal. Job done with two extra finals on top.
So today is day one of the 277 days remaining until the Rio opening ceremony. A little down time perhaps after such huge efforts, then the journey begins for real. Just five places available so we lose one of these amazing gymnasts already, there are girls coming back from injury that could genuinely challenge for places, as well as juniors moving up next year, one in particular, who will be looking to fight for selection. What ever happens, whoever makes it, these girls go down in history as the first ever British women’s gymnastics team to take a world team medal. Congratulations girls and coaches, you were a joy to watch and did yourselves and your country proud.