Five new gymnasts have been added to the GB senior squad for 2016, all have come from the junior ranks, and have represented Great Britain at junior level. In this second of five profiles, meet Abi Solari.
Abi Solari trains alongside British world medalist Ruby Harrold, and fellow new British Senior Phoebe Turner at The Academy of Gymnastics under coaches Liz Kincaid and Nia Edwards.
Followers of British Gymnastics will have been familiar with Abi for some time now, as she has had national and international success as a junior. In 2013 Abi took silver on vault, and placed 5th on bars at the English Championships, she then placed 8th AA at the British Espoir Championships, and also qualified to the vault final. In the same year Abi was also part of the gold medal winning English school games team.
Abi’s Vault from the 2013 British Espoir Championships.
Abi began her junior career in 2014 placing 7th AA at the English Championships, including a 6th place finish on bars. At the British she was 8th AA, then made both the vault and beam finals where she placed 6th and 7th respectively. Abi was part of the silver medal winning team from The Academy at the British Team Championships, finishing 6th AA individually, and impressively 3rd on bars behind seniors Kelly Simm and Charlie Fellows.
Abi got her first British international assignment when she competed at the Rushmoor Rosebowl, where she helped the team to the gold medal.
In her final competition of the year, Abi was selected to represent Great Britain again, this time at the Olympic Hopes Cup in Liberec. Competing very well, Abi helped the team to the gold medal, took the silver in the all around, and placed third on bars.
Abi’s vault and Beam from the 2014 British Championships.
In her final year as a junior, Abi placed 5th AA at the English Championships, then 11th at the British making two finals where she finished 4th on vault, and 7th on bars.
In April Abi received her first international call up of the year when she was selected to represent great Britain at the three way international against France and Switzerland, she helped the team to the silver medal competing AA , including a lovely high handspring front half on vault.
Abi was also selected to represent GB in the four way international against Germany, Brazil, and Italy, where she helped the team to the gold medal this time. There is only a bars video available from this competition, but she opened strongly with a Maloney to high bar, uprise to strong clear circle to handstand, then into the Tkatchev.
In the autumn Abi represented her club The Academy at the British Team Championships where the took the bronze. Individually Abi placed 7th AA, and third on vault, only behind soon to be world bronze medalists Amy Tinkler and Kelly Simm.
Abi also represented her region at the Rushmoor Rosebowl taking silvers on vault and floor.
Abi is a clean gymnast with powerful work. She has been training some upgrades for her first senior year, including a handspring full twisting front on vault, then a double arabian, and two and a half to straight front on floor which both look ready to go. She is also working the double double.
It seems as though Abi may be hoping to follow Academy team mate Ruby Harrold to NCAA when she has finished her elite career, as she has posted as college recruitment video for 2019. Until then we will get to enjoy her work as she joins the senior British ranks.
Good luck to Abi in her first year as a senior!