Becky Downie in action at the Rio test event podium training
Gabby Jupp and Becky Downie travelled to Rio for the second time this year, this time to take part in the pre Olympics test event. The test event as the name suggests is an opportunity to test the set up and organisation ahead of the games, but also the final qualifying event for teams and individuals yet to secure an Olympic spot for their nation.
As Great Britain has already qualified a full team for Rio having finished third in the 2015 world championships, we were entitled to send two athletes to take part.
Becky and Gabby both competed on just the two pieces bars and beam, with mixed results.
Becky didn’t have her best competition here, she missed the Shang from the Chow shap to high bar, remounted and did the toe full into her own move the Downie well, but was off on the Pak, her hands going under the bar, and she actually hit her face on the bars.
I often don’t link to a routine when a gymnast has had a difficult time of it as Becky did here, but I think her reaction, and the way she finished her routine is an absolute credit to her. She could have chosen to stop as she was clearly hurt, but she gathered herself , chose to continue, and not only that, she finished very strongly with Maloney to high bar, Ricna release, top turn right on top for the bar, and a stuck full out.
You don’t get to be among the best in the world by giving up, you get there by getting up and then giving your absolute best right till the end. Huge respect and credit to Becky.
On beam Becky had a fall on her acro series free cartwheel layout, it looked like the free cartwheel landed a little out of line, sending her off on the layout, and making it incredibly hard for her to land, as there really is no way of pulling it back into line. Becky was awarded a 5.8 D score as opposed to the 6.2 she was awarded at the British championships, 7.433 E score
So just not Becky’s day, but being the mature experienced competitor she is, she was very philosophical about it, and I’m sure we’ll see her back at her best next time out.
Gabby Jupp started brilliantly, she was the fourth highest qualifier on bars. 14.40 (6.0 D, 8.4 E)
Such clean and impressive work throughout, her casts to handstand were particularly good.
In the final sadly it wasn’t to be, she had two falls, one right at the beginning not getting her blind in over the bar, and and the second on her Pak.
On beam Gabby actually performed very well, there was just one real error, and unfortunately it was very costly. You’ll see on the video that Gabby sets up for her acro series which at the British was a flick flick layout, so given where she was on the beam, it looks like this is what she was going for, she may even of been going back to her flick lay out layout series. Gabby did the flick then stopped, obviously something wasn’t quite right, she then did a flick layout without issue.
Gymnasts must show an acro series as one of the five composition requirements which are worth 0.5 each. Gabby did, but sadly it’s more complicated than that. the code of point reads:
So Gabby had already used the flick step out, and therefore even though she did the flick layout, she lost 0.5 meaning a 5.2 D score instead of a 5.7, and 13.20 instead of 13.70.
Gabby continues her comeback though, and is doing some very good work with great execution which is really encouraging.
It’ll be back home and back into training now for both gymnasts, as they prepare to fight for a spot on the team for the European Championships just six weeks away.
Also competing was Ellis O’Reilly of Europa who competed superbly scoring 50.032 to became the first ever female gymnast to qualify to compete for Ireland at the Olympic Games. Fantastic result for her and for coach Sam James, as well as all at Europa. Congratulations Ellis, we’ll see you in Rio!