I spent all weekend typing away on the @bgmediateam twitter, updating those of you who were snowed in and those of you who just couldn't make it on all the competition action. I tried to be as informative as possible and have received much positive feedback, thank you. This is what I thought of the Junior competition/Finals:
Image via www.amytinkler.co.uk
On the Friday, the Junior Women's Championships saw Tyesha Mattis crowned champion ahead of Amy Tinkler and Ellie Downie. I noticed Tyesha at last year's English championships where I was impressed by her wealth of difficult skills, especially on Bars, and her power on the Vault. I have been aware of Ellie for a long time considering she is the sister of Olympic record-holder Becky Downie, who I am of course friends with. Amy came to my attention on the gymnastics scene more recently when she excelled in the Australian Youth Olympics Festival. All three gymnasts showed superb talent in different areas and were deserved winners. I wrote about Friday here.
After the Seniors competition on the Saturday the Juniors returned for Sunday's Finals.
AA Champion Tyesha has incredible strength and power. She is able to perform a double twisting yurchenko on the Vault and her release and catch skills on the bars remind me of the 'flying squirrel' Olympic champion Gabby Douglas they have such impressive height. On Sunday Tyesha chose vault a safe yurchenko straight and yurchenko full, rather than another double twist and then a full. This was probably to save her muscles and ensure a safe landing if she was tired from the Friday. The decision did not harm her score since this meant she could focus on the execution without worrying about the complexity of the Vault. She won the bronze medal in the final. On the Bars Tyesha fell but still placed fifth due to her starting difficulty value being so high- 0.6 higher than anyone else in the final, and 0.8 higher than the winner, Amy Tinkler, who took the top spot with the cleanest execution. Tyesha also won the Beam final where she oozes confidence, and placed second on the Floor.
Watch Tyesha's winning beam routine here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdYOLetAj7A
Silver medallist Amy Tinkler continued to sparkle in Sunday's finals and her Floor was among my favourite routines of the entire weekend. She won the Floor final with a fantastic execution score of 8.70 out of 10 plus 5.5 difficulty giving her a total score of 14.200. As I mentioned before, Amy won the Bar final too, showing the lines and artistry that all gymnasts seek. Despite her reign on the Bars and Floor, Amy is not a specialist but is beautiful on every apparatus. She effectively showed this to place bronze on the Beam and silver on the Vault, behind Notts gymnast Ellie Downie who scored just 0.025 ahead of her on this apparatus.
Ellie Downie (officially Elissa) is in a potentially difficult position in that she must feel some pressure to match her older sister's achievements and make her own mark in the gymnastics world. It could be argued that she has the advantage of parents who fully understand and an older sister to get advice from, but it must be hard to compete with that virtual weight on her shoulders too, were she to be compared with her sister. Becky mentioned that they don't do this- of course, she is in a different situation, with different competitors at a different time with a different environment.etc.etc. Regardless, Ellie did very well in this championships in her own right. Some minor errors on Friday, stepping out the Floor area left her out of that final but she won silver on the Beam, silver on the Bars and gold on the Vault.
Jade Armstrong was also a star of the Junior competition, coming fifth on the Beam, fifth equal on the Vault and third on the Floor.
Chantelle Halford (Bronze on Bars- see below), Georgina Clements, April Maslen and Ellis O'Reilly were also multiple finalists. Imogen Chan, Georgina Harris, Eshe Beranard, Millie Kennard, Natasha Raymund Jayadev, Jade Stedford, Stefanie Bowles and Aasha Kimpton completed the list of Junior finalists. So you can see that many individual Juniors shone this weekend. I am excited for them to progress to Senior level on the international stage for Great Britain.
Full Results- here
British Gymnastics Report- here