Eighteen year old Claudia Fragapane trains at Bristol Hawks gymnastics club under coaches Helen Potter and Rory Weaver. In her fourth year now as a senior, Claudia really started to make a name for herself in 2014 when she was part of the senior team to win silver at the European Championships, where she also made the floor and vault finals. Claudia’s biggest achievement in 2014 was of course her four golds at the Commonwealth Games, in the taking team, AA, vault, and floor titles, Claudia was the first English female athlete across any sport to achieve such a result in over eighty years.
Claudia was also named to the world championships team, where she helped the team to sixth place, finished tenth AA, and made the vault and floor finals finishing in fifth then eighth place.
In 2015 Claudia again competed at the European championships, finishing 6th AA, and making three finals. She finished 6th on vault, 4th on beam, and took the floor silver medal.
Claudia was also named to the 2015 world championship team, contributing on vault, bars, and floor in the team final, and played a huge part in securing the team bronze. Claudia also made the floor final, finishing in 7th place.
So far in 2016, Claudia has made some big upgrades, particularly on beam. She started the year very strongly taking bronze at the Glasgow world cup, and the English and British AA titles. Claudia competed at the European championships as part of the silver medal winning team, and made the vault final where she finished fifth, and the floor final final where she finished fourth. It is worth noting though that Claudia qualified in first place to the floor final with a huge score of 15.000.
Claudia is a powerful vaulter, and as she often has in the past, she has got stronger and cleaner as the year progresses toward her biggest event. Although she does vault two vaults at national and European level, I think we’re more likely to see her go for the one vault in Rio giving her best for the team total. Her double twisting Yurchenko from European apparatus finals has been her best so far this year, can she just get that very tiny bit more from the judges and hit 15.00 in Rio, I think so.
Euros AF 14.933 (5.8 D, 9.133 E)
Whether Claudia will compete on bars at all or not (and therefore get a chance at the AA) is part of the interesting GB line up question which I am considering a post about. Without doubt Claudia’s weakest event, she has nevertheless worked hard here to improve, and also upped her D score by 0.3 from 2015, managing to score over 14.00.
English Championships 14.050 (5.9 D, 8.15 E)
As I’m sure you’re all aware, Claudia came into 20016 with an absolutely huge beam routine. Already difficult, she’d added a standing Arabian, and a flick full twist, then a change half. The full difficulty routine is out of 6.8, one of the hardest in the world, with only a couple of gymnasts I can think of going higher. Claudia left the change half out at Euros, but still then a big 6.5 routine. With such huge difficulty of course comes huge risk, and in six competitive outings of the new routine, Claudia has had one fall on the standing Arabian which was at the English, then the flick full which she had hit in four straight competitions, gave her problems at Euros. I am interested to see whether she will go for full difficulty in Rio, something that will only be decided upon depending on how her consistency has been going in training and controlled competitions since Europeans.
I expect to see Claudia compete beam in the team final as she has many times, a hit big routine like this will be a huge bonus to GB’s total. As for a place in the final, as I have mentioned with Ellie and Becky, anything is possible on this piece, and she certainly has the difficulty, but the team job is will be where her primary focus lies here.
British AA 14.750 (6.4 D, 8.45 E)
Floor is where Claudia will aim to make the biggest impact in Rio. Again she has upgraded, adding a piked double arabian as her middle tumble. With her tumbles and dance skills, Claudia starts from a 6.3 D score, she has gone for a 6.5 routine with extra jumps added to her tumbles, a stag from the double arabian, and a w jump to the opening or closing tumble. This is another big routine, if she hits everything I believe only bettered D score wise by Simone Biles, and Aly Raisman with 6.9 and 6.6 respectively. The routine below is one of the highest scoring routines of 2016, and I believe that we will see Claudia in the floor final, and if at her absolute best and cleanest, she could fight it out with gymnasts such as Giulia Steingruber and Mai Murakami for the bronze
Euros QF (6.4 D, 8.6 E)
Huge good luck to Claudia in Rio, one of the most dynamic and exciting floor and beam workers Great Britain has ever produced.