Amy Tinkler made her return to AA competition for the first time since the Rio trials last summer today, and it was great to see her back out there on all four pieces.
Having been dealing with a calf injury so far this year, this isn’t Amy back at her strongest as yet, but she is getting there, and most importantly getting stronger each time we see her. She still has difficulty to add back in and is also planning on upgrading, with that in mind, her result today is all the more impressive, and her potential for the second half of the year enormous.
For today though, a bronze AA at a world Cup event, some great gymnastics, and much to be proud of.
Starting on vault, the big double twisting Yurchenko was back, and it was one of the best I have see her do, I would say on a par with the one from the Glasgow World team final. High, stretched, easily rotated with time to spare, straight down the middle, landed beautifully for the highest vault score of the day.
14.600 (5.4D, 9.2E)
On to bars, the same routine we have seen from her at the American Cup and the British Championships this year, she connected the toe full to the Maloney today, straight into the Tkatchev to open. Strong cast to handstand, Pak to low bar, then Van Leuween back to high. Blind in, nice stretch through the shoulders into the forward giant to the Markelov, then upstart handstand straight into the stuck full to dismount. 13.600 and she looked rightly delighted with the first half of her competition.
Yes there are still areas that can be tidied here, like many others, Amy will get more out of the judges once she is able to squeeze her legs through her transitions, but she has clearly been working very hard here on what has traditionally been her weakest piece, and as ever is constantly improving.
13.600 (5.4D, 8.2 E)
On to beam, and first up. Not her best routine, but there are always positives to be taken.
Firstly Amy was down in difficulty today, whether she was planning three layouts or two I don’t know, but she’ll have lost the 0.1 connection bonus as she didn’t successfully complete the series here, and if she were planning three, her series bonus too. She also went for the standing tuck as opposed to the standing full, so a C instead of an F, she also lost 0.1 in bonus for not connecting her free walkover to the split jump, and then 0.1 series bonus for not adding the flick to two afterwards. Downgrading her dismount to a double full rather than the triple gives her a C rather than an F, and then takes the 0.2 bonus she would get for it.
Be assured that this is no criticism, merely explanation for those that struggle with understanding scoring and might wonder why the D score is lower than usual (I am actually planning a code explanation post when things are more quiet!). I am very happy to see the British gymnasts paced so sensibly and healthily through any injuries and rehabilitation, giving them the best chance to have the longest most successful careers possible. The routine I believe Amy is aiming for this year will go from a big 6.1D, so we can look forward to that.
The real positive for me was that she continues to work on her extension aiming to keep as much of that potential high D score as possible. Her change leap mount was more extended, with better range, her gainer layouts although she had to grab the beam to stop the fall continue to stretch more through her legs. More extension again through her legs and feet in the change leap, and again the sissone after the full spin. I also felt that Amy moved very confidently, and attacked the routine with positivity and determination.
12.000 (4.8D, 7.2E)
Finishing on floor and this was the first time we had seen Amy on this piece since her historic bronze in Rio, and the first time under this new code. Lovely Popa jump, then the same big full twisiting double straight to open, well landed. Double straight second tumble, I didn’t think we’d see the double double today, I though perhaps a full in, but a good double straight, and well fought to bring it under control, although it looks as though she did just come out of the area. I don’t know, but I imagine we will see the double double back here in time.
Change through to change full and a bit leaps today, then the third tumble was the part of the routine she had to bring something else to after the code change, as she was one of the British gymnasts without a forward salto within a tumble. I actually though she’d go with the two and a half to punch front/straight front, but today it was a straight front full. I imagine this is a place holder tumble, and we will see a far higher difficulty from her in time. Amy is such a strong tumbler that she has various options as to what may go here. She did use the one and a half to two and a half, a punch from on the end would be a very well rewarded run.
Change full leap, then finishing with a double pike with a small hop. Good routine, great energy and performance throughout as we have come to expect from her.
13.233 (5.3D, 8.033E, 0.1 Neutral deduction)
So 53.433 for Amy today, and when you consider AA totals are roughly two whole marks lower than under the previous code, a strong start especially when you consider how much more she has to come. Great to see her back, and very much look forward to seeing what she does next.
Congratulations go to Germany’s Tabea Alt, her second AA World Cup victory in a couple of weeks after she took the gold in Stuttgart. Very well done as well to Victoria Nguyen of the USA on taking silver, and to all gymnasts competing.
Fast healing to Georgia-Mae Fenton, so horribly disappointing for her to be called in here to make her senior international debut only to be injured in warmup. The world will have to wait for those beautiful bars, I have no doubt her time will come.