In the second part of my look back over 2015, this time I’m sharing some of my favorite beam performances. Part year in review, part celebration from a fantastic year at all levels of elite WAG in Great Britain as we continued to climb higher than ever before.
There are too many routines that I have loved and enjoyed for different reasons to include them all, so here are just a few.
Becky Downie Notts Gymnastics, European Apparatus Final
A beautiful routine from Becky, she did score higher in the year, earning another 0.1 against Holland just before Worlds, but this was about hitting when it mattered. Becky had come in for some unfair criticism on her selection for the European team, off the back of a difficult start to the year, especially at the British championships. An international elite representing GB at senior level for over seven years by this point, of course she was the right choice for selection, and it was great to see her compete so well at the championships not only earning two silvers, but in my opinion performing the more complete routine on this piece. I may be biased, but i felt she deserved the gold here.
Georgie Hockenhull Park Wrekin, European Games Baku Qualification
It may not have gone her way in the final, but Georgie competed a sharp confident routine in qualification to qualify in third place to the final. The 5th highest score in qualification overall, this was Georgie at her best on this piece, and she is a high quality beam worker who works with confidence and presicion when she hits.
Maisie Methuen Phoenix, British Junior Championships AA
Of course the routine I really wanted to add to this list was Maisie’s silver medal winning performance from EYOF, but unfortunately footage has yet to emerge. This routine is from earlier in the year, and shows what great potential Maisie has on this piece. She has also tried the double pike dismount this year, and I look forward to seeing where she is at the beginning of 2016. A likely pick for the junior European team, and potential beam medalist, Maisie has been one of GB’s top juniors through 2015.
Tyesha Mattis East London, British Senior Apparatus finals
Tyesha’s second event at the British, and second gold. Again not her strongest piece, but Tyesha approaches beam as it should be approached, with confidence and authority. Big acro skills performed well and landed securely, I know that all fans of British Gymnastics will be rooting for Tyesha to be healthy and back to her best all around in the run up to Rio.
Claudia Fragapane Bristol Hawks, European Apparatus Finals
You know there has been a substantial shift in British gymnastics when not one, but two gymnasts make a European final. When Claudia hits beam, she is dynamic, in both her acro and choreography, she performs with style and confidence, and her routine flows well from start to finish. She also has excellent toe point! It was great to see Claudia hit her routine in a major final, something she repeated when chosen to compete in the team final at worlds later in the year.
Catherine Lyons Europa, British Apparatus Finals
Actually the highest scoring British routine of the year, for any age group. There are no bonuses to be had at Junior level, only an extra deduction, so the 14.70 Catherine scored here would have put her at the top of the beam list on my number crunching post were she a senior.
The attention as ever for Catherine is on quality. The extension is there for both acro and dance elements, the precision, the flow of the routine. I don’t know, but my guess would be that a lot of time has been spent training the acro elements from the preceding choreography, as the links are seamless as they ideally should be. The connections are sharp, and Catherine performs with confidence. In the days of R.O.V, this attention to detail, and going to the maximum on every element of the routine is what was meant by virtuosity. Catherine unfortunately hasn’t competed since this championship in March, and has missed the chance to be hugely successful in her final senior year. Hopefully we shall see her back soon, and ready to fight for a place on the Rio team.
Louise McColgan Largs, Gordon Forster Team Competition
Just a few weeks ago this routine, and Louise McColgan is looking good for 2016. Another gymnast that will be fighting for a place on the junior European team, Louise has upgraded here, and makes her new connections well. Louise has great potential on this piece I feel, she is stylish, works with polish, and performs her work as a routine, as opposed to going through the motions between skills. This is as confident as I have seen her look on this piece in a little while now, and I hope she carries this confidence into the new year as she is capable or great performances.
Amelie Morgan Slough, British Espoir Championships Apparatus Final
Amelie has a full three years left before she turns senior in 2019, another at Espoir level, then two years as a junior. Amelie shows great promise here with lovely floating leaps and acro skills where she has a real lightness to her work. She shows great flexibilty, has soft flowing arm movements, and is definitely one to watch here. The slight lack of confidence in performance that disrupts the flow of the routine at times will come with experience, I look forward to seeing Amelie build up to the 2018 junior Europeans where she could do well should she stay on this trajectory.
Charlie Fellows City Of Liverpool, British Teams
A month before World Championships, Charlie competed three beam routines over two days without major error to secure her place on the team, and this is my favourite of the three. Charlie works securely with a nice lightness on beam, and with just a little more confidence in performance, could be very stylish on this piece. The reward for her efforts here will always be a world championship team medal. something so far only six other British Gymnasts can claim to share.
Paige Moroney South Essex, British Level 4 Championships
There is very little footage of the levels gymnasts available, hence why they aren’t featuring on my end of year favourites. A shame as there are some hugely talented girls that people would love to watch, but you will see them soon enough as they make they way to Espoir level.
One very young gymnast competing at her first national voluntary championships was Paige Moroney, who at level 4 turned nine in 2015. She performed this beautiful routine full of potential to help her to second place all around, and the second highest beam score. Well done to Paige, I look forward to seeing her progress through the levels over the next few years.