Day two of the British Espoir Championships saw the top eight on each piece from the AA return for apparatus finals.
All videos are up on GymNET/BG Score app for BG members, I have loaded the top three only on each piece simply because of time, I would love to have added all the videos, and commented on all routines, but unfortunately it would have taken far longer than I have available to blog.
For information on bonuses for this Championships, see here:
Maddie Roberts took the vault title, her clean precise gymnastics extends across all pieces, and here we saw a tidy handspring front, legs glued together throughout, just a small pace on landing.
Vault two was an even cleaner straight Yurchenko with the tiniest adjustment on landing. Stretched throughout with hips open, great vaulting for the highest E score on a single vault 9.40.
Silver went to Samanta Katkevika, strong Yurchenko full well landed to open, straight Tsuk a little closed at the hips, but nevertheless well executed, with good dynamics and just a pace on landing for her second vault. I really hope we see Samanta stay healthy now, she has a lot of potential and it would be great to see her fulfil it.
Halle Hilton took bronze, nice full twisting Yurchenko first vault, clean throughout and straight down the middle. Straight Yurchenko second vault, again very clean, the second highest E score of the final well deserved.
Annie Young took the bars title, 1.1 in D score over the next highest, and 1.5 over the silver and bronze medalists, Annie is clearly ready to join the junior ranks and compete with the big bar workers next year. A couple of leg separations on her transitions aside, this was excellent work, strong swinging, the high Jaeger caught fully stretched is a real highlight, looking ready to be upgraded to the E value pike. The high full out dismount right over the bar dismount is very well performed too, great work Annie.
Ondine Achampong took silver, not as high on D score, but the highest E score, such clean precise work from her. Beautiful in bar Stalder, linked to Stadler then Stadler shoot to high bar. Her turning work extended and precise, great extension through her shoulders throughout the routine, high open double tuck to finish, there is much to build upon here.
Shanna-Kae Grant took bronze, lots of potential for big powerful bars here, no release skills as yet, but I could see her developing into a big swinger with big skills in the future, kind of in the way that Ellie Downie has. For this routine, the turning elements in particular impress, right on top of the bar on the giant full, as well as the blind in and top out. The close bar elements are clean and varied, so lots of potential to develop them too.
The beam title went to Ondine Achampong, so clean and light in her work. Extended with great range through her leaps, with fast snappy acro. Ondine works with poise and confidence, for the most part keeping her routine flowing, so important under the strict beam requirements to have gymnasts that can attack this piece. The ring jump was the only skill that wasn’t as beautifully done as the others, but you can see its there ready to fly and be as strong as the rest of her work. Elegant, controlled, determined, reminiscent of Amelie Morgan, and potentially a very special beam worker.
Another with huge potential in this piece, Halle Hilton took silver. Contrasting in style, but equally impressive, Halle works confidently, sharp and precise in her movements, clean and extended through her skills. Great acro series, as we’re used to seeing from her, the free walkover a tiny bit undercooked causing a wobble the only real error here, Halle commits to her leaps, commits to her choreography, commits to attacking beam, great work, an exciting prospect for the next two years in the junior ranks, then forward into the senior.
Olivia Gauregui maintained her qualifying position to take the bronze. Olivia is a lovely beam worker, I really like the forward walkover with the leg held up as it should be, then the high flighted change to sissone she opens with sets a really nice impression, her carriage through the leaps really stood out for me. An unfortunate fall on the valdez flick layout series, but the rest was well performed, and she just has that something on beam, that snappy clean way of working the routine, a little Romanianesque. I look forward to seeing more from her.
Finally onto floor, and Ondine took her third title of the Championships. Just beautiful work, fluid, graceful dance, classy choreography, soft and light throughout, styled to suit her perfectly. The tumbles high and clean, she twists like lightning, and seems very aerially aware so lands well. The leaps show her impressive range, long clean lines which look so good when extended, she creates time in the air by working fully through her foot on takeoff to get the lift she needs. We don’t know yet whether we shall see Ondine on the junior European stage next year, but I do know that international fans will love this routine if we do.
Like Ondine, Maddie Roberts is a deceptively powerful gymnast, and she took silver here today. Clearly well conditioned so that her strength to weight ratio works optimally for her, she gets good height in her tumbles and leaps, the two and a half to punch front, and the whip double twist particularly impressive as clean twisting always is. Maddie presents her work well, committing to her performance, and projecting her choreography. With another year left in the Espoir ranks next year, don’t be at all surprised if she is crowned Espoir AA Champion in March when this event moves alongside the junior and senior British.
Bronze went to Halle Hilton, and I really do love this routine. Regular readers of the blog will know that I bang on about the importance of the right music, the right style of choreography for each individual gymnast in order to get the best from them, and this suits Halle perfectly. Halle wouldn’t perform Ondine’s routine well, and Ondine wouldn’t perform Halle’s, and that’s where the choreographers are getting it so right.
We haven’t seen Halle massively upgrade her tumbling since last year, she has upgraded, adding a straight front before the full twisting straight front, and a tuck front after the two and a half, button the surface it’s surprising there wasn’t more, as she is clearly such a powerful tumbler with enormous potential to be a huge floor worker. I for one am pleased to see this though, Halle has had a huge growth spurt over the last year, dealt with injury, and recently changed clubs. She has two full years in the junior ranks to come before she needs the huge routines. Well paced with health and longevity in mind juniors make strong seniors, and Halle could be a very special senior.
Well done to all gymnasts and coaches, I am off to enjoy watching all of the routines from finals confident that there is a lot to be excited about for the future of British Gymnastics.