The first day of competition from the School Games 2016 saw the gymnasts from Wales, England, and Scotland compete for the team title, and individual AA title. I’ve written a very long detailed report featuring each individual gymnast below, as I know many will have no access to video from the competition. Members of British Gymnastics can view the footage on the BG score App.
Scroll to bottom for individual apparatus results from day one of competition.
The victorious Welsh team, Zoe Simmons, Latalia Bevan, Maisie Methuen, Emily Thomas, Holly Jones
Team Wales came to the school games to defend their title, and that’s exactly what they did. Topping the field by 7.55 points, in a 5-4-4 format, they counted just one routine with falls, and very much looked the strongest team overall which was then mirrored in the results. Highest difficulty, highest execution, even if England were able to go completely clean, Wales were still untouchable today.
Holly Jones gets credit for attempting the front on mount on beam, as we so rarely see difficult mounts these days. The reason we often don’t see the harder mounts is that starting with a fall is always hard to compose yourself from, and this is exactly what happened to Holly. She recovered well, full spin, high change to side, a nice flick to high back tuck with a step back, good range and extension through the change to W jump, double twist dismount with a step to finish. Really lovely soft fluid hands and arms from Holly.
Holly was also artistic on floor, performing her well choreographed routine beautifully to one of my favourite pieces. Double pike to open, double tuck second tumble with a hop back, but stayed in the area. Tour jeté through to change side leap, clean handspring full twisting straight front. Tour jeté half, double twist to finish which she was a little off balance on landing, but covered well the her ending choreography.
Holly vaulted a full twisting Yurchenko with a hop to the side for her first vault, then a clean stuck handspring vault to qualify her into the vault final in second place. No AA for Holly today, but overall a good return from injury for her
Zoe Simmons started on beam with a great planche, sharp change to change side leaps, free cartwheel flick series, a little bobbly on landing, where she didn’t fully plant herself on the beam with confidence, but brought it under control. A small adjustment on the free walkover, safely through the full spin, and a lovely change three quarter leap. One and a half to finish, with a pace. I really like Zoe’s potential on this piece, as her self confidence in her abilities here grows over time, she could make a very good beam worker, as it’s all there.
On to floor, and Zoe opened with her double front, she was a little lower on landing today than we have seen her, but this skill is so impressive in that there is absolutely no cowboy at all. Lovely clean one and a half to pike front second tumble, change to change three quarter leap. Straight front full twist into chasse to change half, split full, then two and a half to finish which she just ran out of. A lively bouncy routine with a great performance level, and lots of Energy from Zoe.
Two vaults from Zoe today, a pike front for the team total, then a tuck front second vault. Zoe has the 4th highest score on vault, but is behind two of her compatriots. Usually at the school games it is two per country only, but I do wonder whether with team Northern Ireland not competing this year, whether we will see three per country in apparatus finals.
Finally on bars, and at present Zoe isn’t quite as strong here as she is on her other pieces, although she was still the 4th highest scorer. She was a little short on handstands, and her clear circle to handstand, but made her Tkatchev well. She fought a little on the giant full but got it over, then again on her blind in. Zoe doesn’t yet have any bar changes, and will see her scores greatly increase when she does. Double front to finish though, and in all a great AA competition for her finishing in 4th place. I do wonder whether we will see the double front dismount off beam from Zoe one day such is her fast rotation and spacial awareness on this skill.
Emily Thomas also mounted with the front on, completely solid from her, then into an excellent change to sissone, great start. High flick tuck, a small adjustment on landing, change quarter where she fought well to bring it under control. Free walkover, then full spin with a wobble. Change half was a little short, then finishing with a good high double tuck with a pace. Good strong routine overall from Emily.
Another well choreographed and performed Welsh floor routine from Emily, clean and extended through the change full to sissone, very well executed whip to double tuck opening tumble. Straight front to full twisting straight front well controlled, change to ring through to split full dance passage, and a good Popa jump fully rotated with good range which for a little originality landed on one foot first and choreographed down to the floor. Emily was off on her double spin, coming out about one and a half ways round, but finished with a really strong double pike. Great presentation, connecting with the audience and judges throughout, the fifth highest score of the day.
Emily unfortunately had a fall on her handspring pike front vault, but landed her tucked front second vault, although with a bit of over rotation.
Finishing on bars, the second highest score of the day for Emily, and into the final. Blind in, forward giant to high, clean piked Jaeger caught. Shoot half into handstand, shoot back to high bar. A little short on the cast, clear circle to handstand, toe on, then a little late on the giant full, but finishing with a good full in dismount. 6th place overall for Emily today, a very strong return from injury from her.
Maisie Methuen had an uncharacteristically off day on beam, she came off on her second layout in the flick layout layout series, she left out the sheep jump after the free walkover, came off again on the Onodi, and dismounted with what for her is a simple double twist. However, the rest of her work was fast, extended, fluid, and beautifully done as we have come to expect from Maisie on this piece.
Beam aside, Maisie topped the standings on every other piece. On floor Maisie opened with a double wolf turn, it was very clean, well controlled and finished. As someone who despises the wolf turn, I was actually very impressed! Double pike opening tumble, then back with the two and a half with a pace to control. Lovely change ring through to split full, then change half or rather three quarter bounce out to sissone. I imagine this will be a change full next year. Handspring straight front full to stag leap, again very cleanly done, and an equally good handspring double twisting straight front to finish. A little change about in tumbles from Maisie today, in terms of projection, performance quality, extension, and execution, as beautiful as ever.
Maisie topped the vault standings with her pike front half just a pace to the side, then a very clean pike front with a controlled hop.
On bars she was short on her casts today, but no major errors. Toe full, toe on, Maloney to high bar to open. No uprise to clear circle before the Tkatchev as we have seen from her, but the Tkatchev it’s self was big with great counter rotation. Shoot half, shoot back to high bar, blind in, top out, stuck full out dismount.
Silver AA for Maisie today, 0.025 from gold with two falls and for her a low D score on beam. I imagine she will be looking for at least a couple of golds tomorrow.
Latalia Bevan returning to competition after spending the last seven months out with injury had a great come back. Starting on beam, she was very clean and extended, exactly what we usually see from her. Lovely change to sissone to open, then the beautifully floated free cartwheel flick. Change to ring, then Y scale spin. Solid through the free walkover, finishing with a one and a half dismount. Not quite at full difficulty yet, the double spin, ring leap, and the Onodi were missing, but the familiar clean light work from Latalia, and top score of the day on this piece.
On floor Latalia opened with a lovely Memmel spin to illusion, she was a little low on her double tuck taking a pace forward. One and a half to straight front second tumble, beautifully clean. Change to ring through to change half, excellent range and extension, spilt full, then double twist to finish. Latalia is still coming back from her injury, so tumbling wise this was watered down for her on all tumbling passes, and one of the leaps where she usually does a ring full. Nevertheless, what injury doesn’t prevent is the attention to detail, performance, and execution which as ever Latalia exuded throughout.
On vault Latalia competed a clean well stretched straight Yurchenko.
Finishing on bars, Latalia had a big fight on her toe full to open her bar routine, but she won, and kept it on. Nice toe on into Maloney to high bar, then right into handstand on the shoot half back to low, linked well to the shoot to high bar. Nice blind in to a clean Jaeger, she was then a little short on the cast, and again on the to half, but finished with a good double pike with just a small pace.
Latalia retained her AA title from last year, a great result for her, and I’m sure a huge boost after a difficult year.
Silver medal winning Halle Hilton, Amelie Morgan, Ellesse Oates, Chiara Bunce, Amelia Knight,
England’s young team took the silver medal, a rough start on bars, but some great performances from the team, particularly it’s youngest members who are very exciting prospects for the future.
Amelia Knight started well on bars, toe full, she took an upstart handstand before the Maloney to high bar, then a well flighted Pak back to low bar. Toe half, then the shoot to high bar came in very close so no space for the counter rotation, and she came to a dead hang. Nice cast to handstand, good blind in on top of the bar, but she then didn’t get the forward giant over, and stopped again. Amelia repeated the forward giant, topped out, then longswing into double tuck which was close to the bar, but stuck. Not the start she would have wished for, and a shame as Amelia has nice lines on this piece, and the work that went well looked very clean.
On beam Amelia started with press to handstand, then a nice almost healy like drop down to the beam, followed by an interesting pose, it’s the small more unusual touches like this that make a gymnast stick in the mind. Change leap to split leap, then very dynamic and positive into the free cartwheel flick, but unfortunately she was out of line and came off. Full spin and side somi, good range in the sissone, but she had to pause before the illusion spin, which was very well done. One and a half dismount with a pace, rather like on bars, Amelia is great to watch when she’s working well with confidence, she has great lines, and is clean and extended.
On floor Amelia opened with two and a half twist, then tumbled back with a double tuck, a little low on landing as it was long more than high, so needed a pace forward. Nice change to ring to split full, and a lovely illusion turn. Clean one and a half twist to tuck front, well landed, strong change half moving toward the corner. Finishing with a good full twisting straight front, a nicely performed routine and a much better piece for Amelia
Finishing with a Straight Yurchenko vault, a little closed in the hips coming off, but then extended well and held the shape. A pace to bring it under control.
Not her best day, but there is much to celebrate from about this young gymnast. She has great lines, and very clean calm work which is very classy looking when it comes off.
Chiara Bunce starting her competition on bars had a fall from the off on her Tkatchev. She recovered very well with a clean shoot half right into handstand, and shoot back to high bar with good swing into upstart and a lovely cast to handstand. Sharp giant full, she lost her leg form a little on the blind in to forward giant, then finished with an unusual and very well performed one and a half twisting front flyaway. Some great work in there, a real shame about the fall.
On beam Chiara wasn’t quite settled on her jump to split mount, but covered it well. The flick layout looked strong, but she wasn’t settled on landing, and usually does two layouts, so must have been not quite in line. Nice split jump into full spin, then strongly through the side somi, and side dance section. Lovely extension in the change leap to split leap, free walkover, then a good sheep jump, skills I imagine she’s working on connecting. Just a roundoff straight back dismount for Chiara today, when we have seem her using the two flicks to double twist.
On floor Chiara opened with a full twist, much watered down from her usual opening tumbling. One and a half to straight front second tumble, tour jeté half to change ring leaps. Chiara it seems was going for a triple spin, or possibly two and a half, but came out early, and needed to bring it back under control. Full twisting straight front third tumble, a little tucked at the end, but safely negotiated, double twist to finish. Chiara is a lovely floor worker, this was a really nicely choreographed routine, and well performed.
Chiara finished with a good tucked Yurchenko vault, a pace on landing, but well done. Again this is watered down for her, so I imagine she has been dealing with injury coming into the competition.
Not Chiara’s best day, but as I say, she wasn’t at her strongest today. Again a lovely gymnast with much to admire.
Ellesse Oates also had her problems on bars, a piece where she is usually very strong. her customary big clean Gienger to open beautifully done, then a pause half way through the toe full, but she managed to get it round, and link it to a very high Pak, which she unfortunately caught fully stretched not too far from horizontal, so was at the wrong angle to have any control over the swing through, and hit her feet on the floor. Ellesse took an extra upstart, made the half turn with a little arch, then toe on, and stadler shoot to high bar. Blind in, forward giant, then she mistimed the opening from her high double front dismount, and over rotated costing her a fall. A huge shame as there is a lot of good work in this routine.
On beam Ellesse started with a nice flick to chest stand, then clean change leap to W jump. Nice to see a tour jeté on this piece, then she was absolutely sold through the punch front. There was a bit of fight on the flick layout, but she dealt with it confidently, the full spin she was a little tentative, then solid again on the side somi. Just a straight front dismount for Ellesse today as opposed to her usual double tuck, so a lower D score, but overall a good routine with some confident work.
On floor Ellesse had a good attempt at the triple spin, just hopping out of it, one and a half to double twist opener, split full, to change half leaps, nicely done. A good split jump full, then two and a half twist well landed with a small controlled pace. Double tuck to finish, and a good routine for Ellesse.
Ellesse finished well on vault, with her handspring piked front. No half turn for her today, and a large step forward, so lower than she would usually score on this piece, but still a good vault. Seventh AA for Ellesse today, not what she would have hoped for going in, as she is a strong AA gymnast, and a GB international, although there were errors, there was still a lot of very good clean work to be proud of though.
Amelie Morgan was hugely impressive today, the English Espoir champion with two more full years before she turns senior took the bronze medal AA with her customary clean gymnastics, and some impressive upgrades.
On bars she actually had the worst part of her competition right at the beginning where she came to a stop on her usually very flighted Jaeger, then was a little loose backed on the shoot half. Lovely toe on, and shoot to high bar, then sharp on the giant full, and finishing with a full out, a little low in the chest on landing. Not her best routine, but the lines, and the clean work excellent as ever.
Second highest beam score of the day for Amelie, jump to split mount, beautiful line in the needle scale. The change to change half she wasn’t able to join, but the range in the change leap was what all lovers of beautiful gymnastics want to see. Lovely floating free cartwheel, not quite the complete confidence on landing, free walkover, again a little hesitant on landing, then sissone, and wisely joined to the split jump. Flick flick layout, a small adjustment, but controlled, clean double twist to finish. Good as this routine was, give this young gymnast another year, or even two until the next jr Europeans, and she could be a really very special beam worker. It’s all there, just the self belief needs to come a little so you get an attacking performance from her full of confidence which will give her more flow, sharper connections, and more of an overall routine. Exciting potential.
A beautiful floor from Amelie, gorgeous range in the split full, stuck double tuck to open, then a lovely attitude spin. Fully rotated triple twist second tumble, change to ring, change half again with great range, full twisting straight front to stag leap, clean and well controlled, and a strong split full jump to finish. Expressive, well choreographed, great lines, great flexibility, and clean tumbling. Another strong performance.
Finishing on vault with a full twisting Yurchenko, the first time I have seen this vault from Amelie, and it was very well executed with just a small hop. A great straight Yurchenko to take her into the vault final, and she was finished for the day. What potential this young gymnast has, I’m very happy to see her do so well today.
Halle Hilton impressed me so much today, she has been on my radar for a little while now, and one of the reasons for that is that she did exactly what I thought she would, step up and compete with attack and confidence. First year Espoir Halle wasn’t originally selected for the games, and wasn’t at full strength in terms of her difficulty as she is carrying a small injury, but she still stood out for all the right reasons.
On bars, the opening cast was strong, with great body position, then again the hitting the exact same position on the clear circle to handstand. She didn’t get too much counter rotation from her shoot to high bar, but she kept it going, and again the strong cast to handstand from the upstart . Sharp in the giant full, blind in, good stretch away from the bar in the forward giant, giving her the swing into a clean Jaeger. A little short on her final cast, but good accelerated longswings into the double pike, just a step on landing.
On beam she opened with a flick to chest stand mount, then a sharp, clean flick layout layout series. A small adjustment on the change to change half, and again on the free cartwheel, and free walkover, but the impression you get with Halle is that any wobbles will be minimised as quickly and efficiently as possible, and unless it is absolutely unpreventable, she will not be coming away from the beam. This is exactly the the approach to beam work you hope to see. A beautiful sheep jump, well extended, and sharply linked sissone to w jump. Double twist with a small pace to the side, both Espoirs really impressed on beam today.
Halle’s floor for some reason isn’t up on BG score at the moment, but I think she tumbled straight front to tuck front, double pike, and double twist. She was watered down on this piece, but as we have come to expect from Europa gymnasts, her routine was choreographed beautifully to fit her personal style, and bring out the best of her artistic abilities. In teaching the routine to the gymnast, attention to the smallest details, and each nuance of music, movement, and expression are what separate a well choreographed from a well performed routine, and Europa understand this so well.
Finishing on vault, Halle competed her straight Yurchenko as opposed to her full twist, a well performed vault, and 5th place AA even with her difficulty lower than usual. Another Espoir with a huge potential, great for English and British gymnastics.
Bronze medal winning Sarah McKenizie, Rosa Holm-Huxley, Ellie Russell, Anna Hollins, Megan Morrison
Scotland took the bronze, with a change to the team, original reserve Rosa coming in for Kacey Morrison of Largs.
Sarah McKenzie got off to a great start on vault, with a high flighted straight Yurchenko for the team total, really strong vault from her, which looks like it’s very much ready for an added twist. Big piked Tsuk for her second vault, unfortunately a little too much rotation, and she fell, but still a place in the vault final.
Sarah had a fall on bars, she went through her routine well, clear circle to handstand, shoot to high bar, swing half turn, giant full, giant, blind in, forward giant, grip change, then into the shoot front half dismount, where she unfortunately wasn’t able to get it to her feet.
On beam Sarah opened with a really lovely full turning split jump, then into solid change to back tuck. High flighty flick layout, split jump to w jump, and free walkover. Safely through the full spin, then a bit of a wobble on the free cartwheel, but she dealt with it well. Flick flick one and a half twist dismount, strong beam work from Sarah.
On floor she opened with a double tuck with a hop to the side, change ring through to tour jete half. Very clean and well landed one and a half to punch front, double spin with a little bobble out, but still round. Ring leap full to the corner, and finishing with a two and a half twist. Nice routine, well presented, and bars fall aside, a good day with some impressive work.
Anna Hollins still only a first year Espoir started her competition on vault with a tidy piked Yurchenko with a pace back.
On bars she opened with a nice stalder to stalder shoot, then giant full a little late, blind in, forward giants into front flyaway with half twist. Good swing throughout the routine, not as much difficulty as some yet, but clean work with good potential.
Jump to split mount on beam for Anna, standing tuck with a small pace back. She came off on the side somi, then recovered well for a nice change leap to sissone. A little tentative on the full spin, but very committed and confident in the flick layout layout series where although she had a small adjustment on landing, she was clean and dynamic throughout. free cartwheel, then double twist dismount. A shame about the fall, Anna has nice lines, and clean work on this piece.
On floor Anna had a fall on her opening double back, she had good height and range in her change to ring through to ring leap, but she can get herself a couple of extra tenths from the judges by stretching through her back foot. Good one and a half to punch front, and a well rotated double spin. Change leap toward the corner, and finishing with a clean double twist. It was a good routine, the performance level is coming, she has the tumbling ability, the range of movement, and good lines, I’ll be interested to watch her gymnastics develop over the next couple of years.
Megan Morrison Vaulted a piked Tsuk with a pace to the side.
On bars she was clean through the toe on, then sole circle to high bar, and giant full. Blind in, forward giant, top out. Finished with a stuck double tuck. Clean work from Megan.
On beam Megan opened with a jump to split mount, then came off on her flick layout. She then did a one and a half spin side on which I really liked as it’s not something you usually see at all. Clean free cartwheel, then she stopped after the change leap, but then linked nice split jump half into sissone, both with good range and extension. Change half, and a full twist dismount.
Finishing on floor, Megan started with a beautiful Memmel spin kept in relevé throughout, double tuck to open, double twist second tumble, nice full turning split jump, then change to ring through to change half. Another good spin, this time the double, then finishing with one and a half twist.
Ellie Russell vaulted a good high flighted piked Tsuk for the team total, then a piked Yurchenko with a pace forward to get her into the vault final.
On bars she opened with blind in to top out, a small leg spearation on the top out, but safely round. Nice shoot half to low bar, she was short on the following cast, and the short clear, and was a little short of swing on the shoot to highbar, but she kept the swing moving. Nice fast full turn over the top, two longswings, then she she timed the release wrong on her dismount, no stretch away from the bar at all before closing for the double pike. Ellie hit the bar then of course the floor, thankfully she was ok, although her toes were likely very sore!
Ellie opens on beam with a press to handstand, then a wolf turn. She was steady in the free cartwheel, and change leap to W jump, but unfortunately came off on her flick layout. She had a big wobble on her standing pike, but saved it well and kept herself on the beam. Much more solid on the change to side leap, then a very clean and well rotated double pike to finish. Ellie will hopefully grow in confidence on beam making her work flow together as a routine more, and her movements between elements bigger and bolder, as my overall impression was that I felt she had more potential on this piece than she does. Self belief and confidence will take you a long way on beam, and that of course can be built from constant repetition of every aspect of her beam work, which I’m sure she is working on.
Ellie performed with much more confidence on floor, and was unfortunate to fall on her very high opening double tuck. She did her split jump full, then change to split full leaps well, a little extra kick into full extension down her entire legs and through her feet would give her an extra couple of tenths through height and extension. Straight front to full twisting straight front, Ellie is a powerful tumbler. Change half, then double pike to finish.
It wasn’t Ellie’s best today, but with another whole year next year before she hits the senior ranks, I imagine we will see her back at the Games next year even stronger, and there is a lot in her work to look forward to seeing how she has progressed a year down the line.
Rosa Holm-Huxley started with a piked Yurchenko on vault, a little low in the chest on landing, but well controlled.
Rosa has a fast strong swing on bars, she did a giant full, toe on, blind in, then fell on her Jaeger which was a huge shame. She remounted, did toe half, then longswings into the double tuck dismount. No low bar work which kept her difficulty down, and the fall obviously affected her score, but as I say, good strong swing from her.
On beam Rosa opened with the increasingly popular flick to chest stand. Nice range and extension through the change to sissone leaps, she didn’t connect the free cartwheel, but kept the leg moving through from the sissone into it, so the two linked will make a nice connection bonus for her in the future. Unfortunately off on the free cartwheel today, but well recovered for a high change half. Double spin, a bit of a wobble, but nothing too major on this difficult skill. Again good attack transferred into height on the change quarter leap, but unfortunately off again on the flick tuck back series. One and a half dismount, disappointing for Rosa as there was a lot of good work in there, it just didn’t come off for her today.
Finshing on floor, a simple, but very nicely done straight back linked to straddle jump opening tumble, then clean through the change to change half leaps. Straight front to straight front full second tumble, clean and well landed. Lovely double spin to back spin in relevé throughout, another very well executed leap, this time the change to side, and finishing with a one and a half twist with a pace. I really liked this performance, Rosa has nice carriage through her dance work, soft hands and arms which suit the style of her floor, good musicality and performance quality all of which you hope to see in a floor routine. A strong finish to her competition.
Full Apparatus Results Day 1