Rebecca Tunney, Becky Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Phoebe Abi Solari, Ellie Downie, Ruby Harrold, Gabby Jupp, Kelly Simm, Amy Tinkler
Congratulations to Claudia Fragapane of Bristol Hawks for taking the AA British Senior title. It was a day of fantastic performances, upgrades, comebacks, errors, and I don’t know about you, but it left me feeling very positive for the year ahead.
We are only mid April, no one should be expecting to see these girls at their absolute peak AA. If they were I would be concerned they will burnt out by Rio. What I saw was the foundations of a very strong team with ever increasing levels of difficulty. We have gymnasts that put everything out there then tidy up rough edges, and gymnasts who keep everything tidy then upgrade. The common denominator being building toward having maximum D and E scores by the summer, as that’s all that matters this year.
Claudia took the title with 58.1, a personal best for her, also taking her to the top of the British WAG AA scorers.
Starting on her weakest piece bars, it is clear to see how hard she is working here to progress both her difficulty and execution. Safely through the new routine for this year, Maloney to HB, toe half to piked Jaeger, then she made the Church release into the Pak keeping leg form through the release. She did struggle on the top turn after the Pak, but made it round. There will have been a deduction on the late giant full straight into the double straight dismount today, but off to a great start with 13.850 (5.9 D, 7.95 E)
On to beam, and again the huge new routine. I believe Claudia is the only gymnast competing three twisting somersaults on this piece, and I can’t think of any one that has in the past either. The standing Arabian was very well held as she landed a little off line with both feet off the side, change leap to sheep jump, a bit of a wobble but brought back under control. Flick straight full twist, much better leg form, and strongly landed. Free cartwheel, full spin, then the standing full, again with a solid landing. She was a little short on the split jump, but the new change half was much improved. Flick flick to big double pike dismount, half way round and going well. 14.75 (6.4 D, 8.45 E) with a 0.1 time penalty.
On floor Claudia’s opening tumble gets better and better,she then went for a new double piked Arabian, upgrading from the tuck. She did tuck her knees about one and three quarters round, but a great addition to her floor. Enormous triple twist third tumble, then an absolutely beautiful double straight into W jump to finish. High energy, hard tumbling, great routine. 14.70 (6.4 D, 8.3 E)
Vaulting to take the title, a DTY straight down the middle, and fully rotated. There is work to be done on the leg form, and I would say she was better at the English here, but never the less, legs aside a good vault, and more than emought to take the title 14.80 (5.8 D, 9.0 E)
Is Becky Tunney going to be the comeback story of this year? She had her best day yet today to claim the silver medal AA with 56.350.
On bars I thought she was actually improved from Stuttgart overall, I mentioned then that she had all the harder skills performed so well , but it was the casts she was losing out on, and she was much better there today with only one definitely coming up short. Hecht mount, good Stalder half to straddled Jaeger, then the impressive Church-Bhardwaj combination so beautifully done. Maloney to Pak, no connection to the stalder Shap with the half turn back to HB today, so slightly lower D score. Stalder full straight to full in, great start for the second highest score of the day. 14.40 (6.5 D, 8.05 E)
On beam she opened with a nice high front somi, then a solid side. Not a flicker on the landing of the pike front, then good range in the change leap, and the change quarter, just a small wobble on landing. Becky was a little unsteady on the flick tuck landing, not bringing it in with authority for a solid landing, but she controlled the error well. The buzzer went before the change half, so she took a time penalty, but finished well with a strong double pike. Growing self belief will step up the flow of this routine which is lacking at the moment, she is still tentative here, hence being quite a way behind time. I expect we will see her address this as the year progresses 13.550 (5.4 D, 8.25 E)
Floor was Becky’s best for some time, I would say since she returned to competition. The opening whip to double Arabian was great, and she brought back the full in second tumble. One and a half to double tuck, and a big double pike to finish. There was a bit of a problem holding the vertical on the triple spin, and the split full didn’t hit position, but she sold the routine very well, and is getting better with each outing here. 13.950 (5.8 D, 8.15 E)
Finishing on vault, Becky brought back her double twisting Yurchenko, competing it for the first time in two years. Was it at the level she used to have it? No, but this is part of her return, building all the time, and expect this vault to look better and better each time we see it. 14.40 (5.8 D, 8.6 E). So happy to see Becky back fighting for medals at this level, it;s been far too long.
Ellie Downie returned to competition for the first time since world championships five months ago having missed the Stuttgart world cup. Ellie came into the competition after just three weeks of training following a torn tricep. Taking the bronze with 55.25, a good result, a reasonable AA total, but we know she is capable of so much more, and she will definitely be putting in far higher totals
Not getting off to the best start, Ellie went for the same routine as the end of last year, the 6.3 D with forward toe circle half, Maloney to Tkatachev, toe full to piked Tkatchev to Pak, then Van Leeuwen back to HB, double straight dismount. Today she missed the toe full, just using the toe on so losing a big 0.5 for missing the requirement, she then mistimed the Pak and had to stop in front support, then fell on her dismount. 12.35 (5.6 D, 6.75 E).
Fighting back on beam with the third highest score of the day, front somi to open with a small step to control it, then the huge standing Arabian absolutely solid. Change to change half, and a good double spin. Safely through the flick layout for her acro series, then going for an upgrade with sissone into free cartwheel, not making the connection today, but another 0.1 to her D score in the works. Two and a half dismount, great routine. 14.440 (5.8 D, 8.75 E)
On floor Ellie opened with one and a half to high double Arabian, just a small hop to the side. A huge double piked Arabian second tumble absolutely nailed. Two and a half to punch front which looked easy for her, finishing with the double pike where she needed two large steps to bring it under control, taking her out the area. Great tumbles, no connecting leaps today, so not working from her 6.0 D score, but she’s changed her dance passage from change to change full, to split full to change half, then had the split full at the end. In doing this she drops the B dance element she was counting, and adds a C for an extra 0.1. A new floor for Ellie, and for me my favourite or hers so far. 13.550 (5.6 D, 8.15 E) 0.2 Pen
Understandably Ellie didn’t vault to her full capabilities today, she is a 15.00 + vaulter for her double twisting Yurchenko, and from her vaults last year, one of the most likely to Amanar at some point this year. It wasn’t a surprise to see that she didn’t get her usual huge block off the table given the nature of her injury, but still 14.80 (5.8 D, 9.0 E)
So a mixed day for Ellie, but she looks strong and confident going into this year, and I really think we are going to see huge things from her.
Amy Tinkler had a great day other than beam which took her out of the medals on her last piece. Starting on floor, and i’ve been waiting for this. Opening with the full twisting double straight, a little piked down today, but she has this new opener nailed now. It was a questions of time, and finally today she put in the double double for the second tumble, fantastic difficulty, H + H to open. She had time to open it out for landing a little earlier as she was still going when she hit the floor and took a large step to control it, but yet another upgrade for Amy this year. One and a half through to well landed double tuck, and the double pike to finish, great stuff. Amy changed her dance skills around a little, she changed her dance passage to change to change full, then used the splint full at the end connected to a straddle half. She now counts a D dance element here. 14.35 (6.2 D, 8.15 E)
On to vault, and I wrote before that I wasn’t sure whether they would go for maxing out the double twisting Yurchenko, or the Amanar this year. I’m calling Amanar now on this one, the DTY has been getting bigger and bigger this year, she has time to spare, is holding the straight shape longer, and still bouncing back. Big vault today, 14.950 (5.8 D, 9.15 E)
On bars Amy has taken out the second toe on, and is aiming to connect the opening to full to the Maloney into the Tkatchev. She was late coming out of the toe full today, so did’t get the connection, but again pushing herself to progress all the time. The Pak was good, the Van Leeuwen has a small leg separation, but is getting better every time. The angle isn;t good, but it looked like she hit her handstands, then yet another upgrade for Amy, that sky high full out turned into a double double dismount! I believe only the second British gymnast after Beth Tweddle to attempt the skill. 13.750 (5.8 D, 7.95 E)
So unfortunate to have a bad beam today, going into her final piece, Claudia had vaulted and Amy was 15.05 away from her going into beam. She wouldn’t have caught her, 15 is a world championship winning score, but she was well capable of taking the silver. Not to be today, she fell on her jump to split mount, then again on the second layout of her three layout series. She was unsettled at the end of her attempt at the free walkover-backspin-sissone series, but made the free cartwheel, and then the change half. Solid back tuck, we haven’t seen the standing full since the American Cup, although she did warm it up at teams, good leap series, then finishing with the high fully rotated triple twist. Not to be today, but she’ll be back confidently here I’m sure. 11.65 (5.3 D, 6.35 E)
Ruby Harrold placed 5th AA despite having trouble on her strongest piece bars. The video on BG score cuts off after her excellent start her new combination Maloney-Tkatchev-Bhardwaj was superbly done. Her score suggest she fell, and perhaps had another big break, but she did make the bar final still, so we will see her there hopefully making the whole routine 13.050 (6.5 D, 6.55 E)
On beam Ruby had to pull herself back into line on the change to change half, then a pace on the front somi, but she was in control. Good on the new illusion turn, then safely through the very solid flick layout series. Ruby was a little off line on the free cartwheel, but she is so experienced, the slight adjustment hardly noticed. She went for the change to ring, getting the head release, but not hitting the position needed for credit. Finishing with a new dismount, the gainer with full twist, a very hard E difficulty so a fantastic upgrade. It’s a little piked at the end, but it’s brand new, and a great addition to her routine. 13.80 (5.5 D, 8.3 E)
New floor for Ruby, and having had such a popular routine it’s always hard to come up with something just as good to replace it. Another strong piece which suits her well, and there there is great potential here. Ruby’s right ankle is heavily strapped, and she watered down her tumbling a little today, opening with a double tuck as opposed to the double Arabian she usually uses. Straight front double twist second tumble, then an interesting Y turn to illusion which she can earn 0.1 bonus for. Finishing with the straight front full rather than the double tuck meaning she lost 0.2 on composition requirement, this was Ruby tumbling safely for her first outing on floor this year, having sat it out until now. 12.80 (4.8 D, 8.0 E)
On vault Ruby went for her double twisting Yurchenko for the first time this year, having used the full for British Teams and the English. Again you could see she’s not back to full strength here yet, losing the shape at the end but she got the vault round, and has room to build her E score here. 14.70 (5.8 D, 8.9 E)
Rounding off the top six, it was great to see Kelly Simm back in competition for the first time since world championships. Kelly has been working her way back from injury and continues to do so. She wasn’t sure whether she would compete AA, but came out on all pieces although watering down on everything but vault where she did her Lopez vault vey well for 14.350. Kelly looked very clean overall which bodes really well for when she adds her difficulty back .
Becky Downie competed on bars and beam, topping both pieces. Toe half to Chow shoot to high bar to open, straight into uprise to straddle Tkatchev. Becky often uses the Piked Tkatchev here, but not today. Toe full linked to the Downie release then the Pak. Shoot back to high bar, handstand top turn, long swing, full out. 15.10 (6.40 D, 8.70 E)
On beam Becky was clear throughout. Her signature extension and flowing work the whole way through. Solid front somi to open, lovely floated free cartwheel layout for her series. Change to to the new change half leap series with great range. Sissone to back spin, and Becky is aiming to join this to the free walkover, but put her foot down behind her breaking the series. She then joined the free walkover to the split jump then the W jump for 0.1, a little wobble but sharply dealt with. Side somi, change to ring, then a good double pike to finish with just a small step. 14.8 (6.2 D, 8.6 E)
Gabby Jupp competed on bars only, Gabby is also making her way back from injury, but competed full difficulty on this piece. No video of this routine, but we will see her in the final. Hecht mount, toe half into straddled Jaeger. Piked Tkatchev from the toe on, straight into the Pak. Toe full, toe on, then Maloney to high bar straight into Ginger between the bars. Two longswings into a double straight where she just ran out of steam taking a large pace. Good clean routine through, and great to see her back. 14.20 (6.1 D, 8.1 E)
Other notable performances, Georgia Mae Fenton having not competed on bars this year, came back with a Ricna half straight to Ezhova which is an amazing combination. She did fall on it today, but such an impressive upgrade. Georgia also had a lovely Rina to shoot half. Georgia was also lovely on beam with her customary poise and presentation, but unfortunately fell on her double tuck dismount.12.650 (5.2 D, 7.65 E)
Georgia also made the floor final, she doesn’t yet have the high level tumbling of the rest of the seniors, but has great spins and beautiful presentation 13.150 (5.0 D, 8.15 E)
Abi Solari had a good day finishing eighth AA and making floor and beam finals, Shannon Archer made beam and floor finals, Jessica Coombs and Polina Poliankova and vault finals, and Phoebe Turner floor.
Full results available here: https://apps.facebook.com/bgscore/index.php?event=8094