The 2018 British Championships will take place this week at the Echo Arena Liverpool. Always a big event, it is extended even further by the addition of the Espoir gymnasts, who previously competed at a separate event in December. Now they get to experience big stage podium competition, as they join the juniors and seniors, as well as all MAG age groups, and disability gymnasts over the four day championships.
Thursday 8th March
All Around WAG Espoirs, MAG U12, MAG U18.
08:30 Spectator doors open
09:30 Competition starts WAG Espoir Subdivision 1, MAG U12 Subdivision 1
14:05 Competition starts WAG Espoir Subdivision 2, MAG U12 Subdivision 2
16:35 Victory Ceremony WAG Espoir, MAG U12
18:50 Competition starts MAG U18 Competition starts
21:27 Victory Ceremony MAG U18
Friday 9th March
All Around WAG Junior, MAG U14
11:20 Spectator Doors open
12:20 Competition starts WAG Junior Subdivision 1, MAG U14 Subdivision 1
16:50 Competition starts WAG Junior Subdivision 2, MAG U14 Subdivision 2
19:45 Victory Ceremony WAG Junior, MAG U14
Saturday 10th March
All Around WAG Senior, MAG U16
08:40 Spectator doors open
09:35 Competition starts WAG Senior Subdivision 1, MAG U16 Subdivision1
12:29 MAG U16 Victory Ceremony
14:25 Competition starts WAG Senior Subdivision 2, MAG Senior
18:32 Victory Ceremony WAG Senior, MAG Senior
Sunday 11th March
Apparatus Finals all Categories.
08:00 Spectator doors open
09:20 Apparatus Finals round 1 WAG Espoir, WAG Junior, MAG U12, U14, Disability Masters
12:00 Victory Ceremonies
13:40 Apparatus Finals round 2 WAG Senior, MAG Masters
17:33 Victory Ceremonies
How to follow
There will be live scoring on BG score, and live feed from judges cameras as usual too. Members of British Gymnastics can also view video of routines on the BG score App which go up almost instantly. As ever some of the top routines will be posted on the British Gymnastics YouTube Channel.
Sunday’s WAG Senior and MAG Masters apparatus finals will be live streamed, and there will also be coverage on iPlayer, the Red Button and BBC sport website from 1.20pm onwards.
I will of course post full results, reports, and videos from the championships, hopefully I will manage to keep up!
WAG Preview and Start Lists
We’ve seen the Espoirs in action a fair bit recently, the second years competed as first years in December’s British, then just a month ago we saw those moving into to this age group take their Compulsory 1 in order for them to qualify, and the English girls among them compete at the English Championships.
From the English just a few weeks ago, Champion Plymouth Swallows Ruby Stacey is listed, as are silver and bronze medalists Alia leat of Heathrow, and Isabella Wheeldon of Park Wrekin. From the top ten, Roxanne Price and Mayalee Osola of Bristol Hawks, Teegan Milligan of Huntingdon, Alice Sumners of The Academy, City of Manchester’s Renee Pullin, and Notts Summer Hill will all compete.
South Essex bring English beam and floor Champions Ellie Gargett, and Paige Moroney, City of Birmingham will be out in number including British floor finalist Sofia Cabrera. We will also see the next big pool of Welsh talent enter the Espoir ranks, with five first year Espoirs, who have impressed so much, and been so successful thorough age groups. Greenwich Royals British vault champion and GB junior squad member Maddie Roberts should also challenge.
As with the English, an exciting mix of first and second year talent, this really is a strong age group, and the juniors will be out to impress as selectors have an eye on who can hit well under pressure with Junior Europeans later this year. Title favourite has to be 2017 silver medalist, and 2018 English AA Champion Ameile Morgan of The Academy, who will be joined by club mate and fellow GB international Phoebe Jakubczyk, another favourite for several medals. Also from the second year ranks, GB squad Welsh gymnast Paige Thomas should stand out alongside fellow GB squad members Mia Scott of South Durham, Hallie Copperwheat of Sapphire, and Heathrow’s Roschelle Spencer Smith who it will be great to see return from injury. Sadly we won’t see GB international Sioned Thomas of Swansea here, hopefully she will return to competition soon.
Of the first years, sadly Shanna-Kae Grant and Halle Hilton are missing through injury. However there will be strong challenge for the AA podium by reigning Espoir Champion Sapphire’s Ondine Achampong who came within 0.250 of the Junior English title just three weeks ago, and fellow junior squad member Annie Young of Norfolk who made her junior international debut in November while still an Espoir. Also look out for GB squad members Amelia Thomas, another strong Welsh Junior who only just makes it into the junior rather than Espoir ranks by 13 days, and South Durham’s Leah Greenland who one to watch especially on floor. East London’s Samanta Katkevika, and Berkhamstead’s Gabriella Connolly will be looking to challenge on vault.
The senior AA ranks are a little depleted right at the very top with the absence of Ellie Downie, and Claudia Fragapane through injury. It’s reasonable to say this is Amy Tinkler’s to lose now, and I would be very surprised if we don’t see her take her second senior British AA title. There should be a great competition for the silver and bronze, Dynamo’s Kelly Simm, East London’s Georgia-Mae Fenton, Park Wrekin’s Alice Kinsella and Charlie Fellows, Liverpool’s Lucy Stanhope, Welsh Gymnasts Maisie Methuen, Emily Thomas, and Latalia Bevan, as well as new senior Taeja James have all scored close to each other AA. I am interested to see how Park Wrekin’s Ellesse Oates, as well as new seniors Laura Beasley also of Park Wrekin, Jolie Ruckley another Welsh talent, and Zoe Simmons of Wales and The Academy perform too.
For the English girls, with Claudia’s injury comes an available spot on the Commonwealth Games team. Amy, Kelly, Alice, and Georgia are already going, and as there has been no announcement as yet, this is a big competition for those in contention for that final place. I have an idea who it will go to, and who I think it would be most productive to go to, but of course being able to hit under pressure is key, and this is a big test with a major selection on the line.
In very happy news, we will also see Becky Downie, I’m not sure whether she will compete on bars and beam or just bars, but having half the Double Downie’s back will cheer any fan of British Gymnastics, and it’ll be great to see her out there again.