Reigning British AA Champion Amy Tinkler in action at the 2015 European Championships
The biggest national competition of 2016, the British junior, senior, and disability Championships are just two days away. At the Echo Arena in Liverpool, the seniors will not only compete for the prestigious title of British Champion, but be taking part in their third official Olympic trial. For the juniors as well as the title up for grabs, there is the opportunity to impress for junior European team selection.
Friday 8th April
12:30 – 15:00 Junior AA Championships
Saturday 9th April
12:20 – 14:30 Senior AA Subdivision 1
13:15 – 17:15 Senior AA Subdivision 2
18:00 – 19:50 Senior AA Subdivision 3
Sunday 10th April
10:30 – 13:30 Junior Apparatus Finals, Disability Apparatus Finals
13:45 – 16:50 Senior Apparatus Finals
How to follow
British Gymnastics will be live streaming the event, the men and women will compete along side each other, but you will be able to choose which apparatus you want to watch.
British Gymnastics will also upload some of the routines on to the YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/BritishGymnasticstv
You can also follow the scores coming in on the BG Score App, this is also where all routines from major championships can be viewed if you are a member of British Gymnastics. You can also do the same on GymNet via your British Gymnastics account.
On Sunday the 10th, the senior Apparatus Finals will be live on BBC2 at 15:00. This level of coverage indicates how popular gymnastics is becoming in Great Britain, and is fantastic for the sport.
There will likely be a great battle for the junior medals, both AA and apparatus finals. So far this year we have seen second year juniors Park Wrekin’s Alice Kinsella, and Phoenix’s Maisie Methuen both score over 54 points AA, and first year Taeja James score over 53. Alice leads the way D score wise, with a big advantage on floor of 0.6 in D score over anyone else so far this year. If she hits, and there are no new upgrades from her competitors, Alice will likely take the title.
As well as Alice, Maisie, and Taeja, Park Wrekin’s Ellesse Oates, Liverpool’s Lucy Stanhope, The Academy’s Zoe Simmons, and City of Birmingham’s Megan Parker will also be pushing for the AA medals.
On vault, Taeja James competed a Yurchenko full and a Tsuk full at the English championships to take the title on this piece, Zoe Simmons has a handspring pike front half and tucked front half, and Maisie Methuen has an enormous handspring piked front half, and piked front.
Maisie Methuen leads the bars standings so far this year, with Megan Parker just behind her. Taeja James and Alice Kinsella have also scored well here, and Ellesee Oates is very stylish on this piece.
On beam, Alice Kinsella, Maisie Methuen, and Taeja James have all scored within 0.15 of each other. Maisie hasn’t been awarded her highest D score as yet this year, and will be hard to beat should she hit everything. Taeja is sharp and dynamic on this piece, and Alice is beautifully fluid. Also look out for Chiara Bunce of Heathrow who performed a beautiful routine to take the bronze at the English Championships, and Liverpool’s Lucy Stanhope who has some lovely work on this piece.
Floor will likely go to Alice if she hits, as I already mentioned, should there be no upgrades from any of the other girls, she is 0.6 ahead in D score. That said, both Maisie Methuen and Megan Parker are very clean with excellent performance quality here, so will be right up there challenging. There are some beautiful floor workers in the British junior ranks, so the floor final should be very enjoyable.
We will sadly not see Welsh gymnast Latalia Bevan at the championships, as although she did return to competition on two pieces at the Welsh and English Championships, she is sitting out the British in order to fully recover. One of the top juniors in Great Britain, it is better for her to take the time she needs, in order to have a chance to challenge for a junior European place. Also missing will be fellow Welsh and GB junior European squad member Jolie Ruckley who continues to recover from her hamstring injury.
In positive news, British junior squad member Louise McColgan of City of Glasgow got the all clear on her back injury two weeks ago to start full time training again. She is very hopeful to compete depending on how training goes, we may not see her AA, and possibly with watered down routes at the moment, but she is definitely on her way back.
We have seen Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane come storming out into competition for 2016. Upgrades all over the place for both girls, and some huge scoring potential. Neither has had a completely clean competition when competing all their upgrades as yet, but we will hopefully see both fight it out with clean routines this weekend. If you have missed them so far this year, catch up on their world cup performances here
We will see Ellie Downie return to competition for the first time since her incredible world championships back in October. It is impossible to make an AA prediction until we see Ellie as she of course is one of the big AA competitors in the British squad.
Kelly Simm will also return for the first time since the world championships, Kelly has been recovering from injury, then working her way back to competition readiness. She will compete on at least three pieces, and depending on how she feels may do AA.
Gabby Jupp having missed the English, will return here, and definitely compete on bars and beam. There is a small possibility she may do more, but she thinks most likely just the two for now.
Along with the exciting new beams Amy and Claudia have already shown, I’m really looking forward to bars, with Becky Downie always bringing her hugely difficult world class routines, Rebecca Tunney coming back stronger and stronger with her hugely difficult work, and 2015 world championships finalist Ruby Harrold upgrading with a Maloney straight to Tkatchev, immediately into the Bhardwaj.
I also have very happy news for those that followed British teams just a few weeks ago, and saw that Tyesha Mattis was injured on floor on her first tumble, and was unable to continue. After such a long time out fighting back from injury, it was awful to see her hurt again. Tyesha is not only recovered enough that she hopes to compete this weekend, but also she hopes to compete AA t for the first time in two years.
Charlie Fellows, Catherine Lyons, and Teal Grindle will not compete, but all are working their way back. Charlie’s foot is healing, but she just needs a little more time to get back to full strength. Catherine has the all clear on her foot, and Teal is recovering from her shoulder surgery. I’m sure you join me in wishing all three of these fantastic gymnasts continued strength and belief as they work toward their returns.
Good luck to all gymnasts competing across the entire weekend, here’s to a great competition!