Day three at the 2018 British Championships, and the final AA competition. With 2017 Champion Ellie Downie out with injury, a new champion would be crowned.
As with last year, there was an extra GB bonus/deduction system in place, as follows:
- 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).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
Huge Congratulations to Dynamo’s Kelly Simm, 2018 Senior British Champion. Kelly only returned to AA competition this year after spending the past two years dealing with two separate injuries. This was a competition all about hitting, and Kelly hit at the English Championships, three weeks ago, she hit at the American Cup last weekend, and she hit again here today. Twelve for twelve routines in four weeks, you can’t ask for more than that.
Kelly started on floor, she was a little short on her double straight opening tumble, a hop forward. Big full in with hop back, then dance passage of change through to split leap full, and she hit the split position so much better this week. One and a half twist powered through to double tuck, her heel just creeping out of the area, so she was hit with 0.3 there under the GB system. Lovely Popa jump, then finishing with punch front through to double pike, she had a low landing here, but saved it well. It was a good start, I did wonder whether Kelly would be affected by her trip to the US, she flew out, competed and flew back in a few days, then headed to Liverpool for the British. James Hall who represented GB MAG in America opted not to finish his AA competition today as he was fatigued and concerned about potential injury, Kelly having a couple of shorter landings on floor made me wonder whether she might make a few errors today through fatigue, happily, no not at all!
Moving on to vault, Kelly did a great Lopez, one of the best I think I’ve seen her do. She held the straight shape well and for longer than we’d seen from her before. Good alignment landed in the centre, a small pace to the side, great vaulting for 14.050, the third highest score of the day on this piece.
Onto bars, and another great routine from Kelly. Forward toe on half, toe full, and this time linked to the Chow to high bar, then back to low bar with the Pak. Maroney back to high bar, three transitions, and not a hint of a leg separation. Clear circle to handstand from the Pak, immediate toe on Tkatchev caught at full stretch. Rica, handstand top turn, the wind up giants into double straight, controlled pace, and she was nearly there. 13.450, second highest score of the day, and into Sunday’s final.
So, it’s tough to start your competition on beam, it’s also tough to finish there. Did Kelly know she could be Champion? I’d think she’d have had a fair idea that she’d land on the podium if she hit, and that of course brings added pressure. Flick to chest stand mount, the Dynamo mount adopted by British gymnasts, and now spreading world wide. Back tuck, completely solid. Free walkover, a tiny hesitation just using her arm to control. Change leap, small wobble, a hint of nerves perhaps, but firmly brought back under control. Flick straight solid, jump full turn side on, she planted her feet firmly. Sissone W jump for the composition requirement, them arms up, line it up, high double tuck with a pace, and she was done. 13.000, another final spot, British Senior Champion Kelly Simm.
Kelly is just a little older than Dynamo is, the club was formed when one man decided to do things his way and set up on his own. It was very tough at the beginning, people now would be astounded at the lack of facilities and equipment back then. If you know you are right though, you know know, and Dynamo School of Gymnastics has grown into a beautiful purpose built facility that has produced multiple national squad members, national medalists and individual apparatus champions, as well as Commonwealth, European, World, and Olympic team members. Now, a day after his 70th birthday, Keith Richardson finally has his British AA Champion, a very happy birthday Keith, so well deserved. Congratulations too to Debbie Richardson and to Kerri Bevan who have helped Kelly to the top of the podium today.
Amy Tinkler I had as the favourite going in, and I imagine many would have agreed. Amy had a competition pretty much split down the middle today, two great pieces, two not not so great. Starting on floor, and wow a Moors. Double twisting double straight, the first ever British woman to perform the skill, and one of very few world wide. Was it perfect? Of course not, but was it ready? Yes absolutely, and it was confidently performed. Double straight second tumble, and you know this will either be a full twisting double straight or a double double, I think the double double here. Change through to split leap full, then the new two and a half twist to punch front looked easy. Amy toppled out of her new triple spin a bit, but it was much stronger that when we first saw it so she’s clearly consolidating that. Really well landed double pike, great opening routine for 14.050, the highest floor score of the day, and of course into the final.
Onto vault, and I can honestly say I don’t remember Amy having an issue on this vault in the six years she’s been competing it. I don’t know what happened, I’ll wait till I can download the video and have a really good look at it as I’m not getting the best view of it on my phone, but as I say I don’t recall her falling on her double twisting Yurchenko before, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she never did again. Amy still made it into the vault final as she also competed her Tsuk one and a half, so expect her to challenge for the title.
Good bars for Amy today, top scorer on this piece with 13.750. Toe full well completed so she could get the connection to the Maloney, linked to the big Tkatchev, straight into the Pak, great opening sequence. Van Leuween with her legs locked together, Makelov, straight into a high full out, really nice routine.
Finishing on beam, flick to chest stand mount, then a fall on her Gainer layout layout series, a tough start to her routine. Change leap to W full neatly landed, the very difficult standing full under control with just a small pace. Free walkover, and spin were fine, she just lost control slightly on her change half, but determinedly got it back. Big double pike to finish, and her day was done.
I’m sure Amy was disappointed, as she’d have come to win, but there was a lot of good here, and a lot to take forward through this year. I’m also sure that Sunday will see her on top of the podium in at least one of her finals.
Charlie Fellows announced her retirement from elite just before the Championships, and she will have either given herself the most lovely retirement gift, or possibly depending on how situations turn out, be asked to have a rethink at least for a few weeks.
Charlie started on bars, 13.050 and the third highest score of the day. Toe half to pike Jaeger, a Pak, toe full on the low bar, Maloney to high bar linked to shoot half, shoot back to high bar, and a really nicely stretched double straight to finish.
On beam, flick to chest stand mount, nice range through the change to sissone leaps, then controlled through the flick layout. Free walkover, solid through the side somi, then again secure on the change to side. The only real error came on the side on straddle jump where she pitched forward on landing, but she saved it, and stood up again. Double tuck with the tiniest of hops, this was a routine of experience, and lovely to see Charlie hit it so well.
Floor again Charlie performed well. One and a half to double tuck, big double Arabian beautifully landed. Split leap full to change full, triple twist just a tiny bit short, and a little bit of a low landing on the double pike to finish. I liked the choreography, I always like Charlie’s routines, three pieces down, and she was going really well. 13.400 another final for Charlie.
Finishing on vault, she saved her one and a half twisting Yurchenko after a step back on landing when her leg could have given way on her, some days those hit or miss moments go your way, and today was Charlie’s day. AA bronze medalist, and whether tomorrow is the last time we see her in competition or not, I am so happy for her.
Outside of the medals, filling up the top six, Lucy Stanhope was so impressive today. She vaulted an absolutely beautiful double twisting Yuchenko, long and stretched for 14.700. On bars she had a fall on a blind in, but she also had a Bhardwaj and a Van Leuween! On beam a new flick straight back mount, as well as some very classy clean work including full twisting flick, flick layout, and clean two and a half twist dismount. She’s been relatively quiet for a little while, but has started this year looking so impressive.
Alice Kinsella will also feel disappointed at what could have been today. Starting on beam, she had a really rough time on this piece at the English, then hit well today for the highest beam score of 13.700 and a great start to her competition. Good on floor for 13.300 and a place in the final, she also successfully performed her relatively new double twisting Yurchenko and I think the best I’ve seen her do it for the second highest vault score of the day. Bars is where the problem came, her last piece and so disappointing for her. She fell on a really nice looking piked Jaeger, then had problems on her Pak, but did finish well with a nice new Arabian double front dismount.
Emily Thomas Led the Welsh ranks in 6th place, a good placing for her, and she continued to build her reputation since being added to the GB senior squad at the end of last year. Very tidy and well landed full twisting Yurchenko to open her competition, 4th on bars I loved the extension she got out of her clean piked Jaeger, and really she was impressively tidy throughout the whole routine. She did have problems on beam, unfortunately overcooking her flick to chest stand mount, then coming off on her free walkover, but floor was great, she was awarded the second highest score, highlights of which included a really well performed double straight,anf full twisting straight front to one and a half twisting straight front.
Obviously with over 200 senior routines today, I haven’t got close to watching even a quarter of them as I’ve been busy typing up scores, but I will. I have noticed so far, Megan Parker return with her lovely bar work for a place in the final, and elegant performance style all round. Taeja James who had four falls today which took her out of contention managing to look really good despite the errors, complete with a huge beam routine, and upgraded first vault for a place in the final. The rest of the Welsh team looking strong for Commonwealth Games with Latalia Bevan stunning on floor, Holly Jones and Jolie Ruckley strong on vault, Maisie Methuen looking good on bars, beam and floor where she made all finals, she is joined in the bars final by Rebecca Moore.
Academy team mates Zoe Simmons and Amelia Knight impressed, Amelia 8th AA, 6th on vault and second on beam, so two finals for her, Zoe 10th AA, a new pike front full on vault, and a place in the floor final where we may see her Podkopayeva.
Shannon Archer and Megan Bridge make the vault final, Jessica Daykin the bars final, Shannon Archer also made the beam final, Ellee Cheetham and the fabulous Danusia Francis make the floor final.
Good to see Ellesse Oates return from injury, and well done to Sophie Scott for managing beam and floor after recently breaking her fingers.
It was the final British for Academy seniors Abi Solari, and Phoebe Turner, both GB internationals, both off to NCAA, where I’m sure they will have an amazing experience Abi will have one more British performance when she takes part in the vault final. A happy retirement to Christine Tse of Notts, who has been a beautiful gymnast to watch.
Sending all the good wishes to Georgia-Mae Fenton who took a nasty fall on her shoot to high bar landing forward on a locked elbow. I hope with all my heart it’s just jarred, and nothing more serious.