It was Great Britain’s turn to host a World Cup over the last two days, and this year Birmingham hosted the event. On day one we saw some brilliant performances from James Hall to take bronze, and Dominic Cunningham to finish fourth in the MAG event, Thursday was the turn for the British WAG.
As the hosting nation, GB was permitted to field two gymnasts, both Alice Kinsella and Amy Tinkler were due to take to the competition floor. Sadly Amy was injured on floor in warm up, and was unable to compete. Amy was immediately attended to by the medical team, and taken to Lilleshall where she will receive the best medical attention. Thankfully she is not seriously injured.
So with Amy out, all hopes rested on second year senior from Park Wrekin Alice Kinsella. Just a week past her 17th birthday, Alice leaves on Sunday for the Gold Coast where she will represent England in the Commonwealth Games. Another chance for valuable podium and big event experience, lets have a look at how she fared.
Startling on vault, and the new double twisting Yurchenko. We have seen this vault a few times from Alice since she debuted in in Duiven as she took the AA title at the Dutch Invitational, but it’s a big upgrade, and still very new in terms of competitive outings. A bit of a leg split on, chest down on landing and a pace, but good vaulting, clean twisting, and well centred for 14.166 the equal third highest score of the day, and she was off to a strong start.
On to bars, lovely hit handstand on high bar to open the routine, blind in, and stretched the giant forward into the piked Jaeger caught well on straight arms. Toe full linked to the Pak for 0.1 bonus, and another fully hit cast to handstand, this time on the low bar. Maloney into shoot half for another 0.1 D+D bonus, linked straight to the Stalder shoot to high bar. Toe on linked to the new double Arabian dismount, very well landed with a tiny half pace. Great routine for 13.600 not only her highest of the year so far, but also higher scoring than any of her 2017 routines on this piece. Half way round, going well.
First up on beam, and recently this routine has hinged on the very difficult free cartwheel layout series, and whether she hits it. Flick to chest stand mount to open, legs squeezed together. Little half backward roll to stand, then time for the series. Smooth and clean today, a little leg raise to the front on landing, very quickly and tidily placed back on the beam, safely done. Change leap linked to change to side, a little short of split on the side leap toady, but good extension throughout, and cleanly linked for the 0.1 C+C bonus. The double spin did cause her trouble today, she put the foot behind, but more importantly, spin rotation is judged on shoulder and hip position when the spin stops, and as Alice wasn’t fully round, it looks as though she lost the D value here, and was given a 1,5 spin for a B value instead, explaining why her D score was 5.0 instead of 5.2. Still, better a 0.2 off plus the likely 0.3 wobble, than a whole mark off for falling, she did well to stop the spin and save the bigger error once she was off balance.
Completely solid in the free walkover, the two and a half dismount, clean in the twist as ever, well centred, but she was still moving when she hit the mat, and did a great job of stepping, turning and presenting, before then running off all in one movement!
Not her very best routine no, but a good routine under immense pressure, well fought for 12.600 the second highest score of the day. Three hit beams in a row from Alice to build the momentum forward to Australia.
Finishing on floor and all to play for, very tight at the top for the medal placings.
One and a half to triple twist to open, again the very clean twisting, the tiniest of hops on landing, great start. Spins were not Alice’s friend today, trouble in the Memmel spin coming off vertical, and on floor there are no half rotations awarded, so counted as a single for a B taking her D score from the planned 5.3 to the 5.1 the judges gave her. She recovered very well, clean two and a half to punch just two very small paces back on landing, nicely through the split full through to change half where she hit a great split position on the second leap. The double tuck she had pace forward, and the double pike a tiny pace back, but both well landed, and Alice was safely through four for four. The routine suits Alice well, its on a similar vein to the music and style she used in her junior routine, and feels like the natural progression from there, in that she continues to gain maturity and expression in her performance which she has worked very hard to achieve.
Well done Alice, a real senior gymnast performance from her today, it is easy to forget this is only her second year in the ranks. 53.033 AA, her highest total of the year so far, and when you take of the GB bonus at British Championships, supposing her highest AA total of 2017 too. I hope this serves as a big confidence boost heading into the Commonwealth Games, as I would love to see her shine at her very best there and show everyone quite how clean and stylish a gymnast she is.
Congratulations too to coach Brett Ince at Park Wrekin, and especially to Christine Still who somehow managed to commentate on her own gymnast which must actually be hideously nerve wracking!
Well done to gold medalist Angelina Melnikova, the former Junior European AA champion takes her first senior title. A beautiful gymnast, and clearly thrilled with her result today, as she can struggle with inconsistency. Congratulations too go to Margzetta Frazier, a new lease of life as an elite, her first international, and silver at the World Cup was heartwarming to see.