Well what a day, action packed, drama packed, a rollercoaster of a ride of gymnastics from the British seniors as they took to the floor for the apparatus finals to crown four new senior champions for 2016.
Competing alongside the the Mens Masters finalists, and the disability finalists, it was a loud, intense atmosphere similar to a major championship. After a big day of competition yesterday, no rest for the gymnasts as out they came again to fight for the medals.
Starting on beam, no doubt a sense of familiarity for many of these girls, the best way to describe the final is shaky but with highlights.
Becky Downie held her qualifying position taking the title with 14.750 just 0.05 down from qualifying. She was awarded 0.1 lower in D score, but upped her E score by 0.5. Quality work as ever, very clean flowing routine from start to finish, the only big error coming on the layout from the free cartwheel where her experience really showed, reacting calmly to the large wobble in order not to make it worse. Becky has a real air of confidence about her on this piece now, she seems very comfortable with her work and is able to deal with any issues and calmly moving to the next skill with out it rattling her. Exactly what you want from a reliable beam worker in major finals.
Claudia Fragapane came in second with 14.075. A huge 6.7 D score, she’s actually going for a 6.8, and there is a possibility she could get a 6.9, as she has a W jump right after her standing full with no choreography in between, so it looks like if she’s absolutely on after the full, she’ll link the jump. Claudia was down in E score here, and incurred a time penalty, put in a real fighting performance. She landed the Arabian off line needing two steps back, she took a step and had a wobble on the flick full, and a very small adjustment on the standing full. There were also wobbles on landing the W jump, and the change half. So 7.48 E score, but this is the important part. This is I believe the equal (with one other gymnast) most difficult beam routine being done in the world right now, and in four outings with all this new work, Claudia has fallen just once. Also, for me she showed here that her beam work is maturing in that one of those routines that just doesn’t settle does’t mean a fall, again very promising for major finals.
After Becky and Claudia, it was a bit of a case of who fell the least, and who with a fall had the higher difficulty score and least wobbles.
Ruby Harrold took the bronze with 12.625, a fall on her change to ring, and missing the connection on her change to change half. She had step after her front somi, and a couple of minor wobbles on her flick layout, and free cartwheel, but the new illusion turn was excellent, and she did the new E value gainer full dismount well, just a bit piked down at the end.
After her excellent qualifying routine, Ellie Downie was 4th having fallen on her huge standing Arabian, and her double spin 12.625. Ellie’s is the only beam video not working on GymNet, so other than my notes on the falls, and that she saved a big wobble on the front somi, can’t really give any more information other than there were no other major errors.
Kelly Simm was 5th with 12.425, she didn’t come off the beam, but needed to grab it to stop herself falling on her change half. She had a couple of minor wobbles, but also was only awarded 5.1 D score, whereas at full strength before her injury she was working from I think around a 5.7, so as she gets stronger her scores will go up.
Shannon Archer placed 6th with 12.275, a fall on her flick layout, but some lovely clean work on the beam, including very nice leaps.
Rebecca Tunney equal 6th with 12.275, Becky started well with a solid front tuck, then her side somi, but fell on her piked front. She was way over time again today, so isn’t quite back to working sharply and confidently on this piece as yet.
Phoebe Turner was 7th with 12.10. A good Yurchenko mount, and flick layout layout, she fell on her side somi though, but finished well with a stuck flick flick to double tuck.
Vault next for the gymnasts, not Olympic order today, perhaps to showcase bars and floor on the live TV programme as that is where we are strongest.
Ellie Downie took the title with an average of 14.787. First vault one of her customary excellent double twisting Yurchenkos. High and flighted, with a clean twist, a tiny bit off centre with a small pike down, but that 15.10 with a 9.3 E score shows the quality of her vaulting.
Vault two the Lopez, and only the third time competing it after she debuted it back in October just before the World Championships. So clean going on, she makes the half turn so well. maybe not the huge lift she can get off here, as she was a little short, but nevertheless for her first time out vaulting this year, very well done. 14.4365.
Claudia Fragapane placed second with an average of 13.787. Claudia scored 14.30 for her double twisting Yurchenko. She seemed to hit the board squarely enough, but was very wide armed on the table, and off centre which suggests perhaps she did not. Claudia also had some arm bend on hitting the table, one more so than the other, which sent her off line as she came off causing her to land in the red area meaning a 0.3 deduction. She completed the twist well, albeit with some form faults for 14.30.
For her second vault, It looked to me that Claudia went for the Lopez for a 5.6 D score, but just wasn’t able to hold the straight shape long enough and was awarded 5.2 D for a piked version. This time she was very well centred, but came up really quite short on landing, and did very well to keep on her feet. 13.265
Abi Solari took the bronze with 13.512. She played safe for her first vault, opting to use the handspring tuck front half instead of her new tucked full. Great height, right down the middle, and just a pace for 13.70. Abi then competed a nice straight Yurchenko with a large pace for 13.325.
Jessica Coombs was 5th with 13.425. It what may have been her last competition, she made her first British senior final, so a great high to finish on. A very nice full twisting Yurchenko for her first vault, cleanly done with a small pace for 14.050. Then a neat piked Tsuk with a step to the side for 12.80.
Shannon Archer was 5th with 12.437. Shannon opened with a full twisting Yurchenko, but wasn’t square coming onto the table so traveled to the side coming off causing her to land off line, and step off the matting. For her second vault, Shannon went for a handspring tucked front unfortunately kept rotating as she landed needing to put her hands down 11.975.
Polina Poliankova was due to compete in the final, but was injured in warm up and unable to continue. Hopefully it’s not too serious, and she’ll be back in competition soon
On to bars, and who couldn’t be delighted for Gabby Jupp. Three years ago the AA British Senior Champion, then an ACL tear taking her out until 2014. Having fought her way back onto the 2014 worlds team, Gabby then tore her other ACL at the beginning of 2015, taking her out for another year. Just competing on bars at this championships, it was great to see her successful after so many disappointments.
Hecht mount, toe half to Jaeger, then the Church release straight to the Pak to low bar. Toe full to Maloney to Ginger between the bars, great work. Finishing with a double straight with a small hop, it was a clean routine from a 6.2 D, with an 8.55 E for 14. 750.
Becky Downie went for the big routine today, Forward toe circle half into the Chow to HB, uprise into the piked Tkatechev from the clear circle (Shang). Toe full to her own stalder to piked Tkatchev release the Downie, immediately into the Pak to LB. Upstart hadstand, Maloney to HB, uprise into the Ricna, and off the bars. She just seemed to snatch it a little, just that split second difference. Finishing with the full in, and still scoring 14.425 with the fall.
It really was that good, up until the fall, one of the best routines I can recall her doing. If she gets selected for Rio and can hit this routine, even though the bars final will be one of the tightest, she absolutely can medal here. 6.7 difficulty, and the option for 6.8.
Ruby Harold hit her new routine to take the bronze with 14.175. The new opening Maloney to Tkatchev to Bhardwaj combination was very strong, it looks like she’s been competing it forever. There were form issues to tidy, but so impressive. A small leg separation on the Van Leeuwen, the Zuchold drawing gasps from the crowd as ever. Ruby was a little off line on the toe full, but connected it to the shoot to HB without issue. Toe half to Jaeger, handstand hop to double front with a large then a small then a large step to bring it under control. 14.175 with maybe 0.7 in landing deductions, and small errors that can be improved means another potential 15.00 + routine for GB.
Becky Tunney placed 4th with 13.325 . Good start with a hecht mount, hitting the handstand from the cast, stalder half to Jaeger, a little bent armed on the catch, then another good cast. Church release to Bhardwaj great form as ever, a tiny bit close on the Bhardwaj, but it didn’t interrupt her swing. Maloney back to HB, Pak to LB, then went for the immediate stalder half back to HB for the connection but came off. Becky repeated the skill without issue, was a bit late on the stalder full, but did join it to the full out dismount for 0.1 bonus. Again a big routine with big scoring potential.
Kelly Simm continued her comeback placing 5th with 13.20. Kelly is working her way back from injury so started with a 5.3 D score here as opposed to the 6.1 she was using at the end of last year when we last saw her. She opened with the Toe full, Maloney to Pak, instead of the Komova ll. (the in bar Shap)she usually uses, then the Chow back to the HB, and in a change in her composition then used the uprise clear circle half, forward giant top out. Ricna, then Church releases, the Church holding the place of the piked Galante she debuted last year. Finishing with a flyaway in place of her double layout, good to see her out competing again, and look forward to seeing her back to full strength.
Amy Tinkler placed 6th with 12.975. She is joining the toe full to the Maloney now for the 0.1 connection bonus, then straight into the Tkatchev, not to be today, and she had to count the fall. Amy remounted, made the Pak, then I think the best Van Leeuwen back to HB she’s done so far. Blind in, top out, and the new double double dismount the Fabrichnova, which flew so high above the bar giving her plenty of time to land well. I am so impressed not only with yet another upgrade here, but also the with quality of it. I don’t know about you, but Amy seems so ready for this year, there is just something about her energy, approach and confidence that is very exciting for the year ahead.
Claudia Fragapane placed 7th with 12.250. Starting well with the toe on into Maloney to HB, then top turn, toe half into the Jaeger. Claudia missed the Church release counting a fall, and missing the 0.2 connection bonus into the Pak. She had a little problem on the top turn, but made it round following with the shoot back to HB. Toe full was a bit late, so she took the extra longswings into the dismount missing the 0.1 connection bonus . 5.6 D today instead of the 5.9 she is now working from.
Georgia-Mae Fenton placed 8th with 10.125. She may have lost three points in falls, but she has gained a huge amount of new fans who have now become aware there is a new senior with enormous bar potential for the future. This was the first time Georgia had competed bars this year, she broke her hand in February so sat this piece out at teams and the English Championships.
Hecht mount to open, Georgia then competed a Ricna half, so a stalder into a Tkatchev with half turn. This is a completely original skill with no gymnast having attempted it before, it isn’t in the code of points, so I am not sure of the value, likely an F as the Toe Tkatchev goes from an E to an F with the extra half turn. She attempted to joint it to the Ezhova transition, hugely difficult work with a 0.2 connection value when sucessful. Not to be today, Georgia made the stalder Tkatchev half, but missed the Ezhova.
Remounting, she did the Maloney to HB, then tried to join the Ricna to the shoot half which she did beautifully in qualification, but counted her second fall. Georgia was late on her toe full today, going late into the stalder shoot back HB causing her to ping off under the bar. She got huge encouragement from the crowd and her fellow gymnasts to finish off well with a full in after such a difficult performance.
Frustratingly for Georgia, prior to breaking her hand she had all of these skills consolidated ready to perform, just not quite enough time to get them back to 100% in time.
Finally on to floor, and Amy Tinkler took the title with 14.35. Nice double spin to start, then the big two opening tumbles, full twisting double straight to open, then back with the double double. H + H is huge difficulty, there is room for the E score to lift, she landed a little low in the chest on the double double this time, but such impressive work. Through the leaps, then one and a half to good double tuck with a hop back. Great double pike well landed to finish, 6.10 D score, 8,.25 E . I love the energy and performance level of this routine, there are a couple of areas to up the E score even more, so we’re likely to see some big scores coming Amy’s way through 2016.
Claudia Fragapane took the silver medal with 14.275, a 6.1 D score as opposed to the 6.4 from the AA. The full twisting double straight is so impressive, she’s holding the straight shape so well throughout, and consistently landing so well. The new piked double Arabian she did bend her knees for the very last part of the rotation, but again very well landed. Change to tour jete full, then butterfly into the corner. The triple twist was huge and fully rotated, she had so much power that she had to take a large step back to control it. Tour jete half, double spin, then finishing with the double straight which was a little short and needed a hop forward, so no connecting jump today, but in all a great routine, and again great energy and performance levels.
Phoebe Turner in her first British Senior Championships took the bronze with 13.4 including a 0.3 penalty. Lovely clean two and a half to straight front to open, a tiny hop on landing taking her out of the area. Fully rotated clean triple twist second tumble, the tour jete half to change ring leap. Another clean twisting tumble, this time the forward double twist from the handspring, change half, then a high double pike to finish. Great landings throughout, very clean work, huge potential for the future here.
Ellie Downie was 4th with 13.35 from a 5.7 D. One and a half to tucked double Arabian to open, with what looked like a 0.3 step back on landing. Good piked double Arabian and she went for the sissone jump from it today. Tour jete half through to change half, the two and a half to punch front which was so easy in the AA she struggled with today almost having to do a standing front, landing almost sitting, but absolutely refusing to fall, and pushing back to standing the way that only someone who conditions daily is able to do. The double pike she took a medium step then a small step, then just lost her balance taking another small step. Ellie went for the change full to finish, slightly short, but in leaping out of it, she ensured she would be awarded the full value.
Ellie seems to have been hammered on her leaps a bit here, as she was going for a 6.1 D score but only awarded a 5.7.
Kelly Simm was 5th with 13.275. As I already mentioned, Kelly is returning from injury, so opened with a double straight, where she was a little short, then one and a half through to a good high double tuck with a pace. Nice range in the change leap through to tour jete half, then a straight back with a split jump out of it for her third tumble. Nice Popa jump, Kelly really does leap and jump well, double pike with a hop to finish. 5.1 D score for Kelly today, but at full strength the whip immediate full in goes back in, as well as her full dance difficulty, and she goes back up to around a 5.9 D.
Georgia Mae Fenton was 6th with 12.350. Georgia hasn’t yet got the power for big tumbling,but she is beginning to upgrade here, and is also an excellent spinner so makes good use of dance skills. A beautiful Memmel spin to open, into the back spin and holding releve so well throughout. The new two and a half twist opening tumble was well performed, with just a bit of momentum out of it causing her to step out of forward. Well landed double tuck second tumble, then the single Y spin into double spin to back spin. Lovely change leap to tour jete full, then final tumble of handspring front to double twisting straight front where she came in a little bit under rotated causing her to fall. Lovely change half to finish, and a beautifully presented routine. Georgia has real presence on floor, clean work, great lines, the posture is there, the carriage is there, she initiates her arm movements through the back and the shoulders creating the extra movement through each position which really sets apart those that move well, and those that really stand out.
Rebecca Tunney was 7th with 12.20. Becky was the best I’ve seen her in two years on floor in the AA competition, but unfortunately wasn’t able to replicate her performance here. She didn’t get enough lift into the whip double arabian, causing her to fall on the opening tumble. She made the full in which she just put back in this weekend, a bit low on landing yes, but the difficulty is coming back. One and a half to two and a half twists, she then struggled to keep the triple spin vertical. Good job on the double pike to finish, Overall Becky has looked stronger with each outing this year which bodes very well for her year ahead.
Abi Solari placed 8th with 11.150. Strong full in to open with a pace back, Abi then fell on her two and a half twist to punch front which is an upgrade for this year. Lovely range in the tour jete half to change three quarter leap, then the straight front from the one and a half twist as a third tumble, but just not able to get it to her feet today. High double tuck to finish, she was clearly disappointed, but I hope not for long, as she has a lot of potential here. In the AA competition Abi not only did the two and a half to punch front beautifully, she also did an equally lovely one and a half to a straight front full, so just not her day today.