Day two of the 2018 English Championships, and it was the turn of the seniors to take to the competition floor.
For the seniors we often see a mixed bag at this event terms of AA competitions and hit routines, And closed competition at Lilleshall for the Commonwealth trials aside, this was everyones first outing of 2018.
The title went to Amy Tinkler, her second senior AA English title, and a good day for her. Great vault score, strong bars score despite hitting her foot on her Markelov, and I’m impressed at how she’s continuing to develop on this piece in terms of working hard to maximise her E scores. Beam she scored 0.4 higher than at any point in 2017, she opens with a new mount, the flick to chest stand replaces the split leap on, a wise decision as she’ll have no deductions for lack of split or sort knees to open her routine. Gainer layout layout today, and a fall here, so I don’t know whether she was planning two of three. The standing full was very well landed, and a double pike new for this year, and a strong addition to her routine. This looks like a much smarter routine for Amy which she could score well on. Floor we see that she both watered down, and upgraded! No full twisting double straight today, but we know that will be back as we’ve seen it in training looking good. That full twisting straight front place holder tumble last year has been replaced by two and a half to straight front, and she also has a triple spin, not quite round today, but an upgraded dance element for her.
Congratulations to Claudia Fragapane taking silver, great to see her competing AA again, she upped her game on bars which has always been her weakest piece, working with smart construction to get as much out of as short a routine as possible. Good piked Jaeger, piked Tkatchev from the toe on, straight into Pak. She’s hitting her handstands, and links her toe full directly to her double pike dismount. Floor of course was high scoring, what else would we expect from the world floor bronze medalist. Full twisting double straight nailed. Double straight to W jump, change to W, split full to jump double turn which is new. Change full, tucked double Arabian, and double pike to finish. Vault scored well, she brought back her double twisting Yurchenko. Beam she can and will score higher, she has added a punch front which she came off on today, and taken out the half turning jump from the side which wasn’t looking quite comfortable with. The standing Arabian was great, she did a standing full, and a flick full. I am sure we shall see Claudia in Australia ready to defend her Commonwealth titles in April, she’s looking great, with just that little bit extra to come which you want this far away from the main event.
Congratulations to Georgia-Mae Fenton who took bronze, good vaulting from her, about 0.6 higher than her top score in 2017, so a big improvement there. Bars she had a problem on her dismount, the rest of the routine was strong, though, and we know she can go a mark higher than she did today, so she is pushing for higher AA totals now. Beam 13.800 really is a very strong beam score under this incredibly tough code, she had a lovely layout mount, valdez to flick layout which she saved well. Double spin, free cartwheel, and a lovely change leap to full spin with the leg held at horizontal. Georgia also went for the one and a half spin with the leg held up, not sure if it would have been awarded today as she dropped her leg a little early here, but it’s going to look lovely as she consolidates it. Free walkover, and a double twist to finish, elegant tidy work. On floor, Georgia didn’t have any major errors, just not totally solid on her landings and spins today, the routine is beautiful though. Georgia-Mae is by no means a one piece gymnast, she’s going to make selections very interesting.
Outside of the medals and rounding up the top six, in 4th, great to see Kelly Simm back competing AA for the first time in over a year after a long battle with injury. She got through beam, the Dynamo mount which became the British junior mount, which is becoming the British senior mount – flick to chest stand. Standing tuck solid, then free walkover, followed by change to change to side which she fought for and saved. Flick straight, then a new jump full turn side on which again she fought and won double tuck well landed, and if you can’t land everything perfectly, you want a gymnast who fights to stay on which exactly what Kelly did.
Bars looked good, Endo half, toe full to Chow transition to Pak for 0.2 bonus in the opening section. Maloney to clear circle, to toe Tkatchev, then Ricna release before the top turn to double straight. The same routine we saw her make the Cottbus final with. On floor Kelly opened with double straight, full in second tumble, change to split leap full, then one and a half to double tuck third tumble. Popa jump before the punch front through to double pike finished a good showing on floor and AA after such a long time away.
A warm up for the American Cup, we’ll see Kelly again when she heads to Chicago in just a few weeks.
Lucy Stanhope placed 5th, and I really hope we see that vault, 14.700 suggests a new double twisting Yurchenko, and a very good one at that.
First year senior Laura Beasley did very well to finish in the top six at her first attempt, a good start to her senior career, hopefully she will keep the momentum going onto the British.
Individually, It was gold on vault for Amy by some way, over a whole mark ahead. Big DTY, and a new Tsuk one and a half. Silver to Megan Bridge of Gymmagic, and bronze to Katie Meadow of Southport.
Amy also took the bars title, Claudia the silver, and Kelly Simm the bronze.
Georgia-Mae took the beam title, Amelia Knight in her first senior competition the silver, and Amy picked up another medal taking bronze.
On floor Claudia took the title, Amy the silver, and Ellie Downie the bronze.
A note about Ellie and Becky Downie, firstly fantastic to see them both back in competition its been a long tough road for both these amazing gymnasts. Becky competed on bars only, clearly didn’t have a clean routine today, but I hear rumour of a new routine with new skills which is exciting. Until I see it myself, I’l leave it as rumour only for now though.
Ellie came back on three pieces. She was as expected watered down, and not at her sharpest. I wouldn’t expect her to be at this point, she’s back, that’s the first big step. Interesting little fact, in three years as a senior gymnast, Ellie is yet to win a senior English AA or individual title. This isn’t ever one of her priority events in terms of her competitive year, but I’m sure we will see her starting the year injury free and adding English Champion to her collection of titles at some point. Great to see you both back ladies.