Monday, 25 March 2013


In the first round of competition we saw the following WAG gymnasts reach the top 8 spots in the all around results-

THEOBALD Iona51.2501
BALDWIN Kirsty47.6502
PAVIER Nicole47.3003
THOMPSON Eleanor47.2004
CRAIG Eilidh46.8505
BRETT Lucy46.7506
KENNEDY Cara46.1007
BLATCH Olivia45.7008

We also saw Lisa Mason compete on the Vault and Beam. The Sydney 2000 Olympian had two unfortunate falls on the Beam which she was clearly disappointed with but perfected her Vault landings to qualify as the top scorer in the first round.

The second round of competition saw Great Britain's national Squad members compete, including a new generation of gymnasts who turn 16 this year, including Gabrielle Jupp and Charlie Fellows. These two gymnasts burst onto the scene straight into Gold and Silver medal positions. Well known senior Niamh Rippin took her first senior all-around medal by finishing in bronze position.

In my opinion, all three of the all-around medallists were looking sharp as soon as they begun their warm-up rotation. I knew immediately that they meant business. Then they went on to prove this.

Gabby competes with such an air of confidence about her. Her gymnastics is very business-like; she doesn't appear to be nervous, even if she is. You can see this especially on the beam, where many gymnasts shake and panic, Gabby holds her head high and plants her feet solidly to the surface of the apparatus, very Whelan-esque (Hannah Whelan has always been a strong beam worker and last year medalled on the beam at the European Championships, as well as on the Floor). Her Bars are fluid and hit handstands, her Floor is well chreogrpahed and has high, difficult tumbles. Her Vault is tidy and well presented. This weekend she was fit and ready to compete to her best and it was enough for her to win. I predict that she will definitely be sent to the European championships next month after this weekend's performance. Potentially to medal, not just make a final. Away from the judges you wouldn't believe that Gabby is so softly spoken and still so relatively young for how mature she is. After the competition she spoke to BBC Sport but was unaware a camera was rolling until after she finished talking- she thought she was just having a friendly chat- she was so excited when she was told she would be on TV saying those things! See this web page for the clip of her thoughts-

Gabby's Beam : here

I feel like Charlie Fellows is a bit of a dark horse. Although she has been a member of the great british squad for some time she doesn't draw too much attention to herself in general- but is a very hard worker and when she competes is determined and accurate. She does her job and does it very well. She always appears cool and collected before the judges and is a really pretty gymnast to watch on the Beam and Floor. On the Bars she is able to giant in invert grip and her toe on tkatchev could not be better: it's sky high! Watch her beautiful double straight dismount too. The video below does work, it's just a bit jumpy and starts at about 7 seconds in. I'm sure that Charlie will be a reliable Great Britain team member in years to come. There is nothing she can't do- she can be subtle, dramatic, clean, beautiful, energetic, consistent, mature, quirky, focused and brilliant.

Charlie's Floor: here

Niamh is not new to the Senior playing field. She has always been an explosive yet steady gymnast, excelling especially on the Floor and Vault where she is most comfortable, but not disappointing on the Bars or Beam either. Niamh just missed out on the Olympic team selection (if only there were more places on the team, we could have had two teams with the amount of talent we had spare...) but this meant she has been able to continue training without a mammoth rise and fall in her training. After the initial blow in the Summer she clearly took the decision to use the rest of the year as an opportunity to improve and perfect her already-impressive gymnastics rather than allow it to deplete her spirit for the sport entirely. I'm so glad that she did and came through this weekend to win the bronze medal. Niamh has been a close friend of mine and a frequent room mate for many years and so I was personally chuffed for Niamh's success this weekend.

Niamh's (2nd) Vault: here

Ruby Harrold also pulled out some show-stopping routines this weekend, most of all on the Bars, despite a fall in the Finals on Sunday (see video). Ruby can certainly medal internationally on this piece of equipment, in my opinion, in the near future. Ruby is a gymnast who behaves with far more maturity and competence than her years would suggest and obviously enjoys her gymnastics too. As well as her Bars, Ruby is capable of a sublime double twisting yurchenko vault. She finished in fourth place in the all-around competition.

Georgina Hockenhull is a gymnast with ability far greater than she credits herself with, I think. She springs off the Floor like it is a trampoline and concentrates through her skills carefully and cleverly.

Raer Theaker is a talented gymnast that some other gymnastics blogs have picked up on already this year, from Wales. The highlight of her work comes on the Floor. She said on Sunday that she "really enjoyed competing with all the Seniors", and was pleased with her results too.

Kelly Simm is a dynamic gymnast with a modest personality who is always a pleasure to watch and be around. Her double straight lifts off the Floor so well it is sometimes as if she defies gravity.

And don't forget about Hannah Whelan. Unlike any of the other competing gymnasts this weekend, she is the only one to have competed in the 2012 Olympics and come back already. Injury and other interests have claimed the rest of us. It was an early competition in the year- the British has not been so early in a long long time, or even before the British Teams - and this meant that Hannah felt she was not quite back on top of her routines yet, but she could not change the circumstances and did what she could. You could see her new skills emerging on the Bars, which will form a superb routine when they are perfected and her characteristically strong Beam was still intact. Unfortunately, the new challenges that she has added to her Bar routine caused her to fall twice there, which lowered her score significantly, and she also suffered a fall on the Floor, competing a double arabian as her first tumble now. This meant she finished in eighth place overall, but I know that after her rough weekend she will be ruthlessly training those new skills for the next competition, so do not disregard this two-time European medallist, double Olympian and born team captain.

I love her new Floor choreography, especially between her third and fourth tumbles- click here to see


Another notable gymnast who had a tough competition was Angel Romaeo who fell on Bars and three times on Beam as she also risked trying out new skills, like Hannah Whelan. Iona Theobald (who consistently completed clean routines) and Jessica Hogg (helped by a great Floor and Vault but hindered from placing higher by her Bars) completed the Top Ten all around gymnasts.

Full Results- see below- or for a clearer look click here

72 JUPP Gabrielle Sapphire School Of 14.350 13.550 14.400 13.850 56.150 1
75 FELLOWS Charlie City Of Liverpool Gym 14.050 13.350 13.300 14.200 54.900 2
66 RIPPIN Niamh Notts Gymnastics 14.400 13.500 11.950 13.800 53.650 3
77 HARROLD Ruby The Academy 13.950 14.550 11.450 13.300 53.250 4
78 HOCKENHULL Georgina Park Wrekin College 12.900 13.250 13.150 13.600 52.900 5
73 THEAKER Raer Cardiff Central Youth 14.000 11.450 13.450 13.750 52.650 6
70 SIMM Kelly Dynamo School Of 13.950 13.000 12.900 12.500 52.350 7
59 WHELAN Hannah City Of Liverpool Gym 14.400 10.150 14.100 13.050 51.700 8
49 THEOBALD Iona Horsham Gymnastics 13.600 12.250 12.450 12.950 51.250 9
79 HOGG Jessica Cardiff Central Youth 13.800 10.700 12.300 13.400 50.200 10

69 JAMES Loriah Heathrow Gym Club 14.200 11.900 11.150 12.850 50.100 11
67 ROMAEO Angel Cardiff Central Youth 13.700 11.700 10.750 13.600 49.750 12
76 REGAN Amy City of Glasgow Gym 14.050 11.050 11.050 12.900 49.050 13
64 DODDS Maisie The Academy 12.400 12.300 12.050 12.050 48.800 14
63 HUNT Jocelyn Horsham Gymnastics 13.200 10.250 13.000 11.650 48.100 15
45 BALDWIN Kirsty Notts Gymnastics 12.650 12.350 11.350 11.300 47.650 16
68 EDWARDS Laura Dynamo School Of 13.850 8.900 11.650 13.000 47.400 17
42 PAVIER Nicole Notts Gymnastics 12.750 11.900 10.700 11.950 47.300 18
57 THOMPSON Eleanor Sapphire School Of 13.550 10.100 11.150 12.400 47.200 19
51 CRAIG Eilidh West Lothian Artistic GC 12.250 11.100 11.450 12.050 46.850 20
52 BRETT Lucy The Academy 12.500 12.200 10.450 11.600 46.750 21
54 KENNEDY Cara City of Glasgow Gym 12.600 9.750 10.850 12.900 46.100 22
41 BLATCH Olivia Europa Gymnastic Club 13.050 9.450 11.400 11.800 45.700 23
39 PAYTON Mollie Heathrow Gym Club 13.150 10.800 9.800 11.900 45.650 24
55 MOORE Hollie The Academy 12.300 9.300 11.350 12.600 45.550 25
44 BRAMLEY Katy Notts Gymnastics 13.100 10.400 11.400 10.500 45.400 26
37 HARROW Stevie Pipers Vale Gymnastics 12.050 10.150 10.500 12.500 45.200 27
50 CLIFFORD Eleanor Colchester School Of 13.200 9.900 10.150 11.900 45.150 28
56 SMITH Carly City of Glasgow Gym 12.850 10.700 9.650 11.600 44.800 29
47 CAMPBELL Kirsty DGC2k 13.100 10.100 9.300 12.100 44.600 30
46 BENNETT Charlotte The Academy 12.500 9.250 9.650 11.950 43.350 31
36 HALL Rebecca City Of Leeds Gym Club 13.150 0.000 10.250 12.750 36.150 32
35 HLALO Tulani City Of Newcastle Gym 13.550 0.000 9.800 12.300 35.650 33
38 MASON Lisa Huntingdon Olympic 13.300 0.000 10.250 0.000 23.550 34
62 LINDSLEY Charlotte Heathrow Gym Club 0.000 11.250 12.200 0.000 23.450 35
61 DOWNIE Rebecca Notts Gymnastics 0.000 14.650 0.000 0.000 14.650 36
40 KICKHAM Caitlin Uckfield Gymnastic Club 0.000 10.900 0.000 0.000 10.900 37

1 comment:

  1. I've spent most of my afternoon youtubing all these routines now! :) A welcome distraction from the dissertation!!