Day two of the 2018 British Championships, and the turn of the juniors. As expected there was a real mix of first and second years competing for the top spots, it was an exciting competition where the battle for silver and bronze went right down to the wire.
As with the Espoirs, there is an extra bonus/deduction system in place, as follows:
Bars – must have 1 (min) x cast to handstand (not with 1⁄2 [180°] turn). If missing 1.00 deduction.
Beam & Floor – must have 1 (min) x 180° leap/jump/hop. If missing 1.00 deduction.Bonus
Floor – 0.3 deduction if one foot / one hand is out of bounds on Floor
0.5 deduction if both feet are out of bounds on Floor
0.2 bonus for D or above dismount on Bars, Beam, Floor
0.1 bonus added on to the above for a stuck landing (D or above) – on FloorLanding must be from a D or above acrobatic line / element.BARS
0.1 bonus on Bars if a 1/1 turn in an element is completed within 10°VAULT
0.2 bonus on Vault for stuck landings (minimum DV 4.8).
Huge congratulations to The Academy’s Amelie Morgan, silver medalist in 2017, and now champion. A convincing victory from the strongest junior, 53.000 a very good total to take forward into the year.
Its really interesting to compare Amelie’s success to previous Champion Taeja James in 2017. Completely different gymnasts, but both came in as favourites, both were top scorers on all but one piece, and both looked like they had absolutely come for this title, every inch the champion from start to finish.
Always impressive, always a gymnast you want to watch, Amelie started on beam, with her Yurchenko mount, then flick flick layout, light and well controlled. Her change to change half leaps now have a Korbut flick added on the end, and today she used a ring jump after her free walkover instead of the split jump full we had seen. She did have a bit of a wobble here, but dealt with it well.
A small adjustment on the free cartwheel, then a very well controlled split jump half side on. Tidy double twist with a hop to finish, strong start for 13.450
On floor Amelie opens with a double wolf turn, which she does nicely, and exits really elegantly, beautifully high and extended two and a half twist into straight front for her first tumble, full turning ring leap, then second tumble a double tuck which she had a bounce out of, but did keep herself in the floor area. Change to ring through to change half, just hitting such beautifully extended split positions, double twisting straight front to stag leap, and a full twisting split jump to finish.
Such lovely quality of performance, soft hands, arms lifting elegantly from the elbow first, chest open, shoulders down, neck extended. Constantly looking the judges in the eye, when facing or turning to face them. A real performance, a real treat to watch.
Amelie vaulted her full twisting Yurchenko for her AA vault, very tidy all the way through, ever so slightly to the left of the centre line on landing with a small hop, but very well executed.
Finishing on bars, Maloney-shoot half-shoot to HB to open, blind in to jaeger where she did lose her leg form a little today, but caught well. A little loss of form on her giant full, perhaps knowing how close she was to the title just squeezing into her brain for a second, no real problems though, and a good double tuck to finish.
A beautiful gymnast, deserved champion, well done Amelie.
Silver went to Annie Young, Norfolk Academy’s first year junior building a big reputation. Annie started on floor, and another routine I really enjoyed. So different from Amelie, but its suits her so well. Fun, entertaining, well choreographed, well performed
Split jump full to open, then big double pike with a step back. Change ring through to change to side, Annie is really fast twitch with good range, giving her strong leaps and jumps. One and a half to straight front, two and a half twist, then a lovely Popa jump to finish, great start.
Vault it looks as though Annie vaulted her full twisting Yurchenko, no video available as yet, but she usually performs it well, and it looks as though she did today.
On bars Annie was the only gymnast to outscore Amelie Morgan on any piece, as she topped the standings. Maloney to shoot half, she had quite a leg split on the shoot half, but kept it moving making the shoot back to high bar. Blind in on top of the bar, big straddled Jaeger, giant half, giant full, and a stuck full out.
Finishing on beam, and this was some pressure for Annie. She was one of the last to go, and the last of the medal contenders to go. Flick to chest stand mount, safely through the full spin, then absolutely solid on the flick flick layout. You saw the nerves a little on her dance skills, she paused after her change leap, composed herself, then had wobble on her split jump straddle jump.She revovered well, clean and safe through the free cartwheel, landed the back tuck, then a very well landed one and a half twist. Under such pressure, Annie really impressed here, not only hitting her routine, but also keeping her choreography sharp, and the routine moving when we often see gymnasts tighten up and pull back. Confident beam workers coming up are always good to see.
Well done too Annie she’s had quite the sharp rise over the last couple of years having come through the Challenge Cup route rather than compulsories, which can be difficult to adjust to at times compared to those used to being nearer the top from age groups onwards. It was good to see her step up to where she belongs with such conviction. Self belief goes a long way.
Another of the first year Espoirs took bronze, and another beautifully elegant gymnast, Congratulations to Sapphire’s Ondine Achampong, she returned from long term injury in December at British Espoirs taking three titles, took silver AA, plus gold on beam and floor at the Junior English, and now Bronze at her first junior British.
Ondine started on beam, box split mount, full spin, then change leap to ring jump. She had a small wobble on her flick layout, but dealt with it well, then another on her spin with the leg pulled up. Maybe just nerves creeping in just taking the sharpness off a little. Composure regained, no stability problems on the free cartwheel or the change ring. Free walkover split jump, a tiny adjustment, then straddle jump, flick flick into a double twist that spins like a top. The whole routine full of poise, light touches, and elegant work.
On to floor, and I run out of words to describe what a beautiful performer she is on this piece. As soon as the video’s are up on GymNet and available to download, I will add it, as if you haven’t seen Ondine perform yet, you really need to. Popa jump, legs way over splits to start with, high double tuck, just a bounce forward opening tumble. Full spin with her leg pulled up to her face, then a clean full twisting straight front to punch front second tumble. Change leap through to split full, so light, so extended. There was a little loss of form in her triple twist which is unusual for her, just crossed legs, and a little loose in her feet, nothing you don’t see in many many floor routines, but Ondine is just so clean on floor that its almost a surprise when she’s not, even if only for a moment! Beautiful change ring to finish, if the gymnasts I think will be selected go, Europe is going to be very impressed with the junior British team’s artistry and performance level.
On vault it looks as though Ondine vaulted her straight Yurchenko, performing it well. Finishing on bars, Stalder then a really high Stadler shoot to high bar with good counter rotation. Toe on, blind in, Endo to high straddled Jaeger. Giant half, giant full, two long swings into a high double tuck, and a great AA competition for her.
Well done to Ondine, in December it was great to see her back, this is the beginning of what could be an extraordinary junior career.
Outside of the medals but in the top six, The Academy’s Phoebe Jakubczky had trouble on beam to open her competition, a real shame for her as one of the strongest juniors. She had a big wobble on her free cartwheel and the fall on her flick layout, not to be today, but I really like this gymnast on beam, she attacks her routine, she’s dynamic in her dance and acro skills as well as her choreography. She performs with conviction and confidence, not to be today, but it’s just today. Phoebe did well on vault, bars and floor making all finals, she did a nice Maloney to in bar Gienger on bars, and her new floor was a real highlight for me. She has a huge new full in, a step out today, but new tumble competed. Again the routine is right for her, it suits her and her style of performance, meaning that she then gives everything to that performance. I love the choreography, and I love how Phoebe presents it. Smart routines are designed toward the judges, and phoebe is firmly fixed on them throughout. Not an AA medal today, but everything there for a great year ahead.
Really happy to see Heathrow’s Roshelle Spencer-Smith back from injury, she led after the first round, and her total held well for her to finish in 5th. Roshelle had a strong AA competition, I particularly liked her beam where she was extended and dynamic through her leaps, and confident in her acro work. There is a video of her bars available, she may have clipped her foot on her Jaeger here, but she did finish well with a lovely double pike. Roshelle will be back on Sunday for bars and beam finals, Hopefully this will be the end of her injury issues, and she can remain in the mix for what at the moment looks like quite a battle for the final spot on the junior European team.
Wales’ Amelia Thomas also returned from injury, her first competition back after a broken arm. Only just sneaking into the junior ranks with a December birthday, a very impressive result especially as she counted a fall on beam. Amelia did particularly well on bars where she has made the final with a routine including a well flighted Jaeger, and a Pak. I enjoyed her floor, and I really liked her use of the side roll along the beam for an unusual and therefore interesting C. Well done Amelia, and welcome back.
I have a lot of video to catch up on, a lot of routines to enjoy, and I plan to watch every single one of them. I did see the Gadirova twins Jennifer and Jessica of Aylesbury, and as ever their work is beautiful. Jessica did especially well today finishing 7th AA, and making bars and floor finals, Jennifer finished 19th AA, making finals on both vault and floor.
South Durhams’s Leah Greenland was fantastic on beam to make the final with the second highest score, there was more success for the pink ladies with club mate Mia Scott making the bars final.
Scarlett Williams of Robin Hood competed on three pieces, and made the vault final in second place, as well as the beam final.
Notts gymnast Ramiyah Kofi vaulted really well to make the vault final, club mate Thea Dane will compete in the floor final.
Ellie Patrick of Dynamic also made the floor final, Heathrow’s Karis Jacomelli and City of Glasgow’s Jessica Wright made the beam final.
Berkhamstead’s Gabriella Connolly made the vault final.
Well done to everyone that competed, for those that have finals, good luck, may you continue to have a great championships!