Sixteen year old Amy trains at South Durham gymnastic club, under coaches Nicola Preston and Rachael Wright. Not seventeen till the end of October, Amy goes to Rio as not only the youngest British Gymnast, but the youngest member of team GB as a whole.
Now in only her second year as a senior, Amy was one of a very strong generation of British juniors which included Rio team mate Ellie Downie. Amy was part of the silver medal winning British team at the 2013 European Youth Olympic festival, and again took the silver medal with the team at the Australian Youth Olympics, adding the floor title, and silver on vault. Amy was also the British junior AA champion in 2014, then went on to take silver with the team at the junior European championships, adding individual bronze on vault, and silver on floor to her medal tally.
Turning senior in January 2015, Amy got off to the best possible start by taking the English then British senior AA titles. Selected for the European championships, Amy made the floor final in her first major senior competition, finishing in 6th place. Amy was then selected for the 2015 World championships team, and competed superbly on floor and vault in the team final to help secure the bronze medal for Great Britain. Individually Amy also qualified for the AA final, she didn’t have the best outing in the final overall, but what was so impressive was that she had qualified in eighth place in her first world level senior competition.
Unlike the rest of the team, by the time qualifications day arrives on the 7th of August, we won’t have seen Amy in competition for four months. Amy didn’t compete at Europeans as it was decided that it would be better for her to finish her GCSE exams and focus on her training, rather than deal with a major championships and exams at the same time, two months before the Olympics. A wise choice, Rio is everything this year, and I’m sure she will have plenty more Europeans to contest.
Amy will of course vault in Rio, one of her strongest events, she will be called upon for both qualification and team finals. Her big double twisting Yurchenko scores very well internationally, with the judges happy to award her over 15.00, a great score for the team total. However, we may not see the double twisting Yurchenko from Amy, and this is what’s interesting about having not seen her in competition since early April. Don’t be surprised if she comes out with an Amanar, the double twisting Yurchenko has looked ready to upgrade for a while, it’ll just be whether it’s competition ready just yet.
15.050 (5.8 D, 9.25 E) English Championships
Whether Amy competes on bars or not will decide whether she gets a shot at the AA final. One of Claudia or Amy will get the fourth spot on this piece in qualification. Should she be given the opportunity, she has worked hard to upgrade here this year, as bars is not her strongest piece.
The video here is of her highest scoring routine of 2016, but note that in the British apparartus finals she linked the toe full to the Maroney, and had added an absolutely huge double double dismount, a fall on her Tkatchev keeping her score lower than this one.
13.833 (5.7 D, 8.133 E) American Cup
On beam this year, Amy upgraded her routine by 0.5 giving her a very competitive 6.2 D score. The gainer layout-layout-layout combination is very rare, and I know I was far from the only one thrilled to see this type of skill selection. The standing full she had used as a junior, she brought back for the American Cup, but didn’t use it at the British, so we shall see. Amy also added a mixed series of free walkover sissone for this year. In the last four months my guess is she won’t have been upgrading, just consolidating, and tidying. If given the nod to try for the AA final, Amy will likely go up first for the British team in qualifications on this piece.
14.200 American Cup (6.1 D 8.10 E)
No doubt at all that Amy will be sleeted to compete on floor in both qualifications and team final, another piece she contributed brilliantly on to help sure the world team bronze. Amy has already upgraded here in 2016, opening with a full twisting double straight, then following with a double double. Enormously difficult tumbling. The third tumble is the one to keep an eye on, Amy changed from the one an a half to two and a half, to the equally valued one and a half to double tuck. She’s not using the two and a half anywhere else, and didn’t tend to have and landing deductions on it, so this is the tumble that may change. Has she been training the two and a half to double tuck (my guess if I had to pick one)? One and a half to full in? Triple twist? Back to the one and a half to two and a half? Keep it as it is? Whatever Amy does on this piece, it will be difficult, dynamic, and entertaining.
14.350 (6.2 D, 8.15 E) British Championships AA
Huge good luck to Amy, she has looked absolutely ready for this all year. A really talented and exciting gymnast, and a great competitor.