2017: A Few Of My Favourite Things




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Just ahead of a brand new year, a look back at some of my favourite performances from 2017. Just a snapshot of course, as there are far too many for one post, especially when it comes to floor routines ( I could have doubled the list!) that I enjoyed. There are also a few, particularly of the juniors, that I couldn’t find video for which would have been included.

These aren’t always the highest scoring routines, just ones I have enjoyed. I hope you also enjoy these highlights of the first year of the quad, as we look forward to what the second will bring.


Ellie Downie – Senior British Championships Apparatus Finals.

The highest scoring British vault of 2017, Ellie scored 15.150 for this stuck double twisting Yurchenko. She took the British but title, and went on to take European silver on this piece.

Amy Tinkler – London World Cup

Dealing with injury, Amy Tinkler competed her full twisting Yurchenko at the American Cup at the beginning of March, she only competed on bars at the British, then missed the English championships to compete here at the London World Cup when she came storming back on vault with the type of big, powerful double twisting Yurchenko we are used to seeing from her for 14.600.

Phoebe Turner – Duiven Dutch Invitational

We hadn’t seen a new double twisting Yurchenko for some  time, then three British gymnasts, Alice Kinsella, Charlie Fellows, and Phoebe Turner all debuted theirs at the Duiven Dutch invitational.

Phoebe’s was particularly good in apparatus finals where she scored 14.333 for this vault to help her secure the bronze medal.

Taeja James – British Junior Championships AA

This was actually Taeja’s second highest scoring vault of the year, her highest being a 14.000 at the Adrian Stan British Teams. Here she scored 13.850 for her full twisting Yurchenko on the way to the British AA title.

Amelie Morgan – British Junior Championships AA

Clean, high vaulting from Amelie, and a 13.900 on her way to AA silver at the British.  Amelie also scored a 14.00 on vault this year, hers coming at  the Top Gym junior international.

Sioned Thomas – Junior Four Way International

The highest scoring junior vaulter of 2017, Sioned Thomas became a regular member of GB junior international teams throughout this year, and will be hoping to continue her success through 2018. Here is her dynamic handspring pike front half from the British Junior AA Championships.

Shanna-Kae Grant – English Espoir Championships

On her way to the English AA Espoir title, Shanna-Kae scored 13.700 for her full twisting Yurchenko. Shanna-Kae moves into the junior ranks in 2018, she really is an exciting talent, and I expect we will see her contest the British vault final in March.

Maddie Roberts – British Espoir Championships AA

Its impossible not to love clean beautifully performed gymnastics. Maddie Roberts was deservedly awarded a 9.6 E score for this lovely stuck handspring tucked front vault at British Espoirs.


Georgia-Mae Fenton – World Championships Qualifications 

Georgia-Mae in her first major senior international hit her big bar routine for a 5.9 D, scored 14.633, and got the Stalder Tkatchev with half turn named after her. For me deserving of a place in the final, she had to settle for the reserve spot this time round, but she’s back in the gym, working and upgrading ready to challenge again.

Becky Downie – European Championships Qualification

Becky had her competitive year cut horribly short by an elbow injury in the European Final this year, but just before hand, she showed why she was a contender both to make the podium and retain her title with this excellent routine from qualifications. I look forward to seeing her back where she belongs in 2018.

Ellie Downie – European AA Final 

Ellie Downie upgraded on bars in 2017, adding a uprise to Ricna from her Maloney Transition. Not only that, her big swing became a lot more clean and under control, and therefore more efficient, leading to not only the British bars title, but a bronze in the European apparatus finals.  This is her routine from the European AA final where she scored 14.300

Kelly Simm – Cottbus World Cup Final

Kelly Simm came back from a long time out with injury,  to GB international duty at the end of 2017. Amid a strong field, she took fifth place in the Cottbus Final, looking cleaner and stronger than we had seen her previously. Should she stay as clean as she adds all of her difficulty back in, she will bring a strong challenge in 2018 when back to full strength.

Amelia Knight – British Junior Championships Warm Up

Not actually the competition routine, but I thought everyone would enjoy seeing the Van Leeuwen to Zuchold-Scheludern from Amelia. Carrying on from Academy club mate Ruby Harold, I look forward to seeing this again when competition season starts next year.

Paige Thomas – Olympic Hopes Apparatus Final

First year junior Paige responded very well to her first international call up by making the final and taking bronze at Olympic hopes with 12.850. Paige has another year left in the junior ranks, and will be among the gymnasts fighting for a spot on the junior European team next year.

Annie Young – British Espoir Apparatus Finals

An Espoir until the 1st of January, Annie Young actually gained the 6th highest junior GB bars score of 2017 with 12.800 at Olympic Hopes where she was called up to junior level competition. Showing that she is very much ready to enter the junior ranks next year, Annie also recently added the British Espoir bars title to her list of achievements, where she was over a whole point up in D score from those of her closest competitors.


Alice Kinsella – British Senior Championships AA

The highest scoring GB beam of 2017, Alice hit all of her difficult work on this piece on her way to securing the AA silver medal in her first senior British.  The free cartwheel layout layout a real highlight, when she hits this incredibly difficult series as strongly and confidently as she did here, Alice looks capable of making major international finals.

Claudia Fragapane – Paris World Cup Apparatus Finals

Claudia hit all of her big acro to take the bronze on beam at the Paris World Cup in September. There aren’t too many gymnasts out there throwing a standing Arabian, standing full, flick straight, and a double pike, so all credit to Claudia who managed to keep everything under control in the pressure of a final. Will we see the flick full added back next year, and the trained triple twist dismount? We shall see.

Latalia Bevan – British Senior Championships AA

We don’t have the full routine, but Latalia performed beautifully at the British championships, for the third highest British senior beam score of the entire year. Light skills, elegant lines and range, graceful with lovely touches throughout, Latalia is stylish and graceful throughout all of her work, and when she’s hitting well, is a very special gymnast to watch.

Amelie Morgan – Olympic Hopes Team/AA

Amelie is a natural beamer, one of my big hopes for 2018 is that she is able to be at her absolute best at junior Europeans, as Great Britain could potentially have its first junior European beam champion. She is clean, with beautiful lines. She works with good rhythm and flow, has difficult skills and combinations, three of which she debuted in this routine on her way to the Olympic Hopes AA title. Great routine, a very impressive young gymnast.

Phoebe Jakubczyk – Olympic Hopes Apparatus Final

Phoebe has made huge strides across all of her gymnastics through 2017, and not least on beam, where she has put in some great performances for both club The Academy, and GB junior teams. This routine in particular stands out, taking the Olympic Hopes apparatus title, Phoebe impressed with her clean light work, confident performance level, and calmness under pressure. If she too can keep up this level of performance, Phoebe could also challenge at junior European level next year. On a personal note, anyone that can make me not actually hate wolf turns for a few moments definitely brightens my day!

Jessica Daykin – Challenge Cup

Jessica was the highest scoring junior of 2017 on this piece, with this impressive routine at the Challenge Cup which helped her to the AA title. A strong combination of acro and dance elements, I particularly like the change leap to spin with the leg held up. Jessica performed so well that she has now qualified to the British Championships, where she will take on the best of the GB gymnasts in 2018, a great achievement.

Taeja James – EYOF AA

This isn’t Taeja’s highest scoring beam of 2017, but it’s impressive for the circumstances under which she performed it. After problems in qualifications, Taeja didn’t qualify for the AA competition, she was at the venue to support Zoe Simmons and Amelie Morgan who had, when Zoe was injured in warm up. Taeja didn’t even have her kit with her, nor did she get anything like a full warm up, as there wasn’t time. Starting on beam, she put in this performance, a great job under such rushed circumstances.


A couple of Espoirs to finish off this piece, both Ondine Achampong and Halle Hilton are very exciting AA and beam talents. Both move into the junior ranks in 2018, and both can challenge the second year juniors for places in the beam final, and on the podium at the British, as well as for places on international teams. They are great competitors, and tend to be confident and reliable beam workers, the junior beam team of 2018 looks very exciting indeed.

Ondine Achampong

Halle Hilton


Claudia Fragapane – World Championships Apparatus Final

Claudia came to 2017 cleaner, more precise, and of course after her stint on Strictly, a more confident and versatile performer. A series of excellent floor performances from her this year, but of course I was going to pick her final one, where she became only the second British WAG to take an World level individual medal with her bronze in Melbourne. As she works her way toward Tokyo, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Claudia back on the World level podium for her floor work.

Ellie Downie – European Championships AA 

Not Ellie’s highest scoring floor of the year, she scored better in both Apparatus finals, and qualification, but if I’m picking one routine from her, it has to be the final piece of her AA competition where she held on, she fought her landings, and did enough to take the title of European All Around Champion back to Great Britain, and back to Notts.

Amy Tinkler – World Championships AA Final

As with Ellie, this wasn’t Amy’s highest scoring floor of the year, I picked this one as a celebration of her making it to World Championships after a very tough year battling injury, and surgery just weeks before the competition which made it all the more remarkable that she was there at all. Qualification to the AA final, and putting the two big opening tumbles on the World stage was a testament to Amy’s hard work, determination, drive, and tenacity.

Maisie Methuen – British Senior Championships Apparatus Final

Maisie Methuen opened her senior career with silver AA at the British Championships, she went one better in apparatus finals, taking the title with a beautiful new floor, performed with the all of the style, expression, elegance, and projection we were used to seeing from Maisie as a junior, but with the added maturity in choreography and delivery that the senior level requires.

Charlie Fellows – British Senior Championships Apparatus Finals

After a long battle with injury, and to get herself back ready to compete AA, it was great to see Charlie Fellows return to competition at the British Championships. The highlight had to be her taking bronze on floor in apparatus finals with a routine I loved both musically and choreographically. Charlie went from strength through the year, and came within a whisper of making the team for World Championships.

Taeja James – British Junior Championships AA

Taeja actually scored higher in apparatus finals, but I chose this one as it was the first look at her new routine, bigger tumbles, bigger dance, and she came out, performing it with the most confidence I’ve seen her work with. Taeja came for the British title, and she took it, looking like a champion all day.

Amelie Morgan – British Junior Championships AA

Amelie had two floor routines in 2017, both were absolutely beautiful. By the end of 2017 she would take Olympic Hopes, and Top Gym floor titles, and is set to impress even further in 2018. I chose this one, as it is the one that put her on that map for many fans of British Gymnastics, and then fans of gymnastics world wide. Many people begin to follow gymnasts at junior level, and I saw this routine spread like wildfire over the internet as people wanted to know who was this expressive, elegant young gymnast with a style we rarely see nowadays.

Jolie Ruckley – British Junior Championships Apparatus Finals

Jolie Ruckley made a welcome return to the British Championships this year. Having been British Espoir Champion in 2015, Jolie missed most of her first junior year, then returned to take AA bronze, and a further three apparatus final bronze medals, including bronze for this stylish and engaging performance.

Zoe Simmons – British Junior Championships Apparatus Finals

Another bouncy, energetic floor from Zoe at the British, where she took the silver medal in apparatus finals. I was hoping to post her new routine from Top Gym which I know you’d all enjoy, but the quality really isn’t very good, so I thought everyone could enjoy this popular routine one more time before you all see the new one in 2018.

Ella Gaynor – British Junior Championships AA

When explaining the concept of portraying a character for your floor routine to my little niece for her first competition a couple of weeks ago, this was the routine I chose to show her as an example. I absolutely loved the idea, the choreography, Ella’s interpretation, and I know many of you did too. The quiet start into the corner hasn’t a single skill, just dance, which I love. It draws you to the gymnast, into the routine, and ensures all eyes are firmly fixed on floor from the beginning. A thoroughly enjoyable performance.

Ondine Achampong – British Espoir Championships Apparatud Finals 

Ondine came storming back onto the British scene in December at Espoirs, and for those who don’t follow the age groups system, may have been a surprise winner of AA, beam and floor titles. Ondine had missed two years of AA competition through injury since taking both compulsory and voluntary British titles at every age group level right from the off. To see her back at her beautiful best was a wonderful end to the 2017 season, may she continue her success all the way through 2018 and beyond.

Leah Greenland – British Espoir Championships Apparatus Finals

Leah is a great performer on floor, and this new routine at the British was no exception. A small gymnast, she smiles and projects the entire way through filling the floor with her personality, making her thoroughly enjoyable to watch.


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