2017 British Championships: Senior AA Report.

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L-R Alice Kinsella, Maisie Methuen, Ellie Downie, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Phoebe Turner, Ellesse Oates   

Ellie Downie should be British Senior AA champion, and now she is. At present, the strongest AA British Gymnast, she took the title convincingly with room to improve, and with plenty to encourage for the year ahead. An AA total of 55.350 with a fall, and a bit of a wobbly beam in places, for me this really could be Ellie’s year.

Starting on vault, a typically strong double twisting Yurchenko with just a hop back to start for 14.500. Ellie also vaulted her Lopez second vault scoring 14.050, taking her into the final in first place.
On to bars, the same opening as last year, forward toe circle half turn to Maloney, but now with added Hindorf from the uprise! She did fall today, but a really good upgrade there. Toe full well completed, straight into the piked Tkatchev linked to the Pak. Van Leuween back to high bar, giants into double straight dismount. 13.600
On beam, I like the split jump out of the front somi, making use of the upgraded leap for 0.1 B+D mixed connection bonus. The huge standing Arabian was completely solid, change to change half I was impressed at her commitment to getting the lift, range, and amplitude, she almost came off, and would have taken a big deduction for the wobble, but she was not leaving the beam. Double spin, then great form through the flick layout, but another big wobble, again well fought. A new split leap free cartwheel combination for another 0.1 B+D connection, then two and a half twist to finish. 13.600
Ellie also has the very well rewarded double Arabian dismount to bring back to this routine, can leap out of the standing Arabian, and I think has been working the flick layout layout. Pack all of that in, and it would change this routine from the 5.5D she was awarded today to a 6.2D which is a VERY big routine under the new code.
Finishing on floor, and for me the best floor Ellie has had yet. It really suits her, she has clearly worked very hard on the dance, and I think she’s going to grow in confidence with it over the next few outings to see it. It’s a sass packed routine, one of those the more you give the better it looks, I think fans are going too really get into it. A new split jump full, then the big new opening tumble double double, just a controlled pace, and an H value skill in the bag. One and a half through to stuck double Arabian, change through to split leap full, double pike with a bit of a bounce on landing, but nothing too serious. Change full to finish, job done for 13.700.
So, this is the interesting thing about this floor, at the moment it’s out of a 5.5 max D score, and her routine under the old code was from a 6.1 Max so 5.6 under the new code. I can’t see Ellie taking a deliberate long term step back in D score, so the speculation is what is she planning here? She may well leap out of the tucked double Arabian as she does when it feels right which would give her the 5.6, will the double pike become the piked double Arabian? Which would give her 5.8? For me this is the most likely option, as this is a routine which looks as though the choreography is competlely set, and it will remain at three tumbles, with Ellie getting the most out of those tumbles D score wise. There is the option to go back to four tumbles, but as I say, I think we’ll see her stick with three.
For today, after a break from training following Rio, Ellie is back, fit, and looking like she could take on the world this year. British Champion, she’s off to a great start. Congratulations to Ellie, to coach Jo Miller, and to Notts Gymnastics Club.

Silver and bronze were there for the taking today, and it was great to see the two strongest juniors from 2016 step into the senior ranks, and medal.

Alice Kinsella of Park Wrekin bounced back from her mixed outing at the Stuttgart World Cup last week to have a much better day here. Starting on beam, she was top scorer of the day with 14.050. Flick to chest stand mount, safely through the double spin, change to change quarter, extended with good amplitude. The hugely impressive new free cartwheel layout layout series absolutely solid today, she had a sizeable wobble on the free walkover, but brought it back under control. Two and a half twist dismount, a couple of steps to control the landing, but job very well done.
On to floor, beautiful Memmel spin to open, she actually goes round two and a half times under complete control, and has previsouly attempted the triple turning Mustafina version. Alice changed her tumbling back more to what she was doing last year here, taking out the double Arabian, opening with an excellent one and a half to two and a half opening tumble. Triple twist second tumble, fully rotated and very well landed, just a tiny bit low in the chest. Split full through to change half, then punch front through to double twist, double pike with a small scurry back to finish. 13.350
On bars she missed her new piked Jaeger right at the beginning, then recovered very well to catch her new Ricna, and make the toe full to Pak. Strong Maloney back to high bar linked to shoot half to low, then shoot back, finishing with a high double pike for 12.450
Finishing on vault, with a nice full twisting Yurchenko for 13.400, and a total of 53.300.
Alice came away from her debut British Championships as an AA silver medalist. Congratulations to Alice, to coaches Brett Ince and Christine Still, and to Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club.

Maisie Methuen joined Alice in the silver medal spot in her first senior competition also scoring 53.300. She started on vault with her usual high clean pike front half for 13.550, then on to bars where the toe full was a little late, so not linked to the Maloney or the toe on she was using, but she is now giving herself 0.2 in connection by linking the Maloney to the clear circle to handstand. She linked the clear circle directly to the Tkatchev, then nice shoot half to low bar going to the shoot back to high bar, blind in, top out, full out dismount. 12.650
On to beam, and a beautiful new Yurchenko mount very securely performed, another upgrade in the free walkover connected to a split then straddle jump, again done very well. Flick layout, she must have felt a little off, as Maisie has been competing a beautiful flick layout layout for a long time now, double spin with a small adjustment needed, then a new double wolf turn. Good strong Onodi, change leap which was where she usually puts her change to ring, then two and a half twist dismount. Good routine from Maisie, with more to come. 13.450
Finishing on floor, and for me there’s always a mix of anticipation and slight trepidation when a gymnast changes a routine from one you love. Maisie was due a new routine this year, I absolutely loved her last routine, but moving into the senior ranks called for a more mature style. I should have had no concerns at all, the new routine is stunning. It is more mature, more dramatic, but still keeps a few playful hints from her last one, it suits her perfectly, and Maisie is a very classy performer. Double wolf turn to open, then a new full in opening tumble. High double pike second tumble, change full, then change ring through to tour jette half. Double twisting straight front to finish, great routine for 13.650.
Congratulations to Maisie, to coach Tracey Skirton, and to club Phoenix Gymnastics.

Georgia Mae Fenton is a gymnast on the rise, keep a close eye on this girl, the same clean lines and beautiful style as ever there, but she’s gradually increasing her strength and difficulty. Georgia will never be a powerhouse gymnast of course, but I think she could well hit the right balance of difficult dance elements, and enough acro to start really making an AA impact over the next couple of years. Georgia is working her double twisting Yurchenko, and more difficult tumbles, her path through the quad toward Tokyo could be very interesting.
Starting on vault, a full twisting Yurchenko for 13.350. On to bars, and everyone willing her to get through her complex routine. Beautiful cast to start with, Ricna half linked to Ezhova clean and under control. Maloney back to high bar linked to the clear circle to handstand, then into the Rina, straight to the shoot half which dropped right into handstand on the low bar. Chow shoot to high bar, giant full completed near enough to handstand to be awarded GB bonus, and a high full out with a hop on landing. 14.900 with a 0.3 GB bonus, thats a great score for a great routine.
On beam, change leap to splits mount, then I love the valdez to flick layout series. I wonder whether the plan is to add an extra layout here when she’s ready, although she’s a little short on space. If she made it the Valdez a Diamadov then flick layout layout, it might be my favorite series ever, but there is no reward for that, the code it’s interested in pretty things. Georgia came off on the double spin, but recovered well with great range and extension through her change leap to W jump. Free walkover where she had a large wobble, but kept it on the beam, free cartwheel no problem. She had a bit of a wobble on her change half, then finished with a double twist for 12.050. She is a little low in D score on this piece at present with a 4.9, so I will be very interested to watch where she takes the routine from here.
Finishing on floor, Georgia opened with a beautiful Memmel spin linked to back spin, then stuck a very high double tuck for her opening tumble. Two and a half with a choreographed step out second tumble, lovely extension through the change to tour jete half leaps, then a very well performed double spin, to full spin, to single leg up spin which she may be working toward making into a bonus giving series.
Right at the end of the routine, Georgia had a fall on her handspring double twisting straight front, a huge shame as she’s been going so well. 11.650 today, but the score doesn’t relief the musicality, poise, expression and fluidity of movement which make her work so special.11.650
Fourth place for Georgia with 51.950 today.


The Academy’s Phoebe Turner opened her competition on floor, she started with a one and a half twist, but I think she meant to straight front or full twisting straight front out of it. Triple twist second tumble with just a pace back, change to ring through to change half, then double wolf turn, but she did need to put her hand down half way through today. Double twisting straight front from a handspring, then finishing with a double pike where she just pulled it round a littile too long, which sent her backwards, but she kept it on her feet. 11.800, not what she hoped for, but a very entertaining upbeat routine. 11.800
A nice high stretched full twisting Yurchenko vault with a small controlled pace for 13.400, On to bars, Phoebe hit her Maloney to shoot half, shoot back to the high bar, followed by giant full to Tkatchev. A lovely double front that span like a top, was the highlight of the routine. 13.00
Finishing on beam, Yurchenko mount, then solid flick layout. We have seen Phoebe join the two together, and I imagine she is working on consolidating the series. Free walkover split jump, then sissone W. She had quite a big wobble on the change leg through to change to half, but good amplitude and range particularly in the change half. Safely through the full spin, then flick flick into double tuck, 13.200 and she was done for the with 51.400 and a good result.

Rounding off the top six, new senior Park Wrekin’s Ellesse Oates had another good AA British Championships. In 2016 she too the AA junior bronze, here at her first attempt she cracked the top six.
Starting on vault, pike front half, clean and well landed, a little low in the chest on landing, but a strong start to her challenge for 12.950.
On bars, she really went for the handstand in her opening cast which I love to see, then into the Gienger which is getting straight and straighter really going for that E credit. Another good cast to handstand, then toe full right on top of the bar for which she rightly received the GB bonus, nice clean Pak, top turn, toe on, then Stalder shoot to high bar where she did mistime slightly, but managed to keep it going. Blind in, then forward giant to a lovely double front very well landed, great routine, she really does have potential here 13.350
On beam, starting with the flick to chest stand mount, change leap, then she paused, and was a little tentative into tour jette, but I love the fact that she did it. Flick tuck back well landed, punch front with a little wobble and a pace, then side on straddle jump which she wasn’t quite ready for the first time, but composed herself, added a little choreography, and went for again. Safely through the full spin, sissone, and W jump, then just as she was coming to the end she had to count a fall on her side somi. Double tuck to finish 11.550.
Finishing on floor, a very good attempt at the triple spin to open, then a new double front for her opening tumble, a big hop out, but she kept it in the floor. Another new tumble followed, and unusual straight front walk out to roundoff flick double tuck which I liked, then two and a half twist to finish for 12.700 and 50.550 AA well done Ellesse.

Outside of the top six, it was great to see Charlie Fellows back and competing AA, she also wins all the points from me for her choice of floor music which is one of my favourites and I haven’t heard it since Lavinia Milocovici  used it nearly 25 years ago at the 1993 world championshps.  New seniors Sophie Scott and Megan Parker made the top ten, Sophie vaulting a beautiful full twisting Yurchenko, and Megan with an upgrade on this piece debuting hers.  So good to see Nicole Hibbert return, and loved the piked full in opener followed by tucked full in second tumble. I believe she’s only been seriously training a few months after five years away. I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Also great to see Latalia Bevan making her way back, there really are few in the world as beautiful as her on floor, and the new routine is stunning.
Lucy Stanhope also impressed with her upgrades on floor, two whips through to triple twist, and a piked full in.

Amy Tinkler competed on bars only, she had a fall on the Markelov that she’s added back this year, but looked to be swinging well, and made it to the final. Becky Downie had a bit of a wobbly beam, but fought hard to stay on, she had a fall on her Ricna here, but the story of her bars is that she has added an inbar Gienger from her Maloney which gives her 0.2 in connection value, and takes out the top turn at the end of her routine. Always looking to progress, and improve here, she has everything there to take the world title later this year should she be able to get this incredibly difficult routine completely solid by the autumn.
Claudia Fragapane competed on beam and floor, on beam she started very well, with one of the best standing Arabians I’ve seen her do, then change to W jump. She did have falls on her flick straight back, and standing full, but has added a tuck jump half, a nice W full which I thought we might see from her, then she finished with flick to one, flick to two double twist, but this will be a triple for series bonus 0.1 as well as B+F 0.2. We also saw Claudia’s new floor, and that time on strictly was very well spent. We saw a new style from her, or to be accurate several new styles as she incorporated many sections of the different genres of dance she had learned into this fun and entertaining new routine. She didn’t tumble her full difficulty, double straight to open, huge tucked double Arabian second tumble with a tricky landing that shows she has the sort of leg strength that Mihai Brestyan would be proud of. I though Claudia’s leaps looked good today, she struggled on the landing of her triple twist, again showing enormous strength to keep it on her feet, double pike to finish, she’s on her way back, not quite back to where she will be as the year progresses, but definitely getting there.
Tyesha Mattis also returned, she had been looking very sharp in training, but perhaps just needed to shake the competitive cobwebs off here, as she had a few problems on beam, where she stopped after her free cartwheel which was due to be a free cartwheel layout layout, she then had the presence of mind to flick layout in order to have a series, as she couldn’t repeat the free cartwheel. I think she was probably little rattled as she took a fall there. Change to W jump, and a side somi, a small wobble on the double spin, then a bigger wobble on the change half. Not Tyesha at her best, but she will have another chance at this routine in two weeks time at the English. On bars she went through well, favouring the clear circle elements, she opens with a traditional Shaposhnikova, followed by Pak down to the low bar, then the clear circle with half turn shap, the Khorkina. Clear circle to handstand with full turn, linked to a lovely flighty Tkatchev directly to a Gienger. Finishing with a strong double front, great routine.

Full results here:


As with the juniors, far too many gymnasts and far too many routines to mention everyone, but well done to all gymnasts competing.