With several of the top WAG contenders out through injury (Ellie Downie with an ankle injury, her sister Becky out with an elbow injury, Claudia Fragapane tearing her Achilles tendon less than two weeks ago and Georgia-Mae Fenton suffering an elbow injury in qualifications), this could have been a disappointing championships, but in fact we were treated to some amazing performances from some of the longtime GB squad gymnasts and lots of new faces.
Kelly Simm was probably the standout of the weekend, claiming both the all around title with a score of 53.400 and grabbing a gold medal on bars with 13.850. She also snagged a bronze on beam with a strong performance. Charlie Fellows also delivered some excellent performances, finishing third in the all around and on floor and coming in second on bars. She had announced her retirement just days before the competition, having not been selected for the Commonwealth Games team, but after her success this weekend, she is reportedly reconsidering her decision.
Amy Tinkler also impressed the crowds with her floor routine, scoring a huge 14.150. She has upgraded since Worlds, where she performed a watered down routine due to recent surgery and it was great to see her back on form. Amy also treated us to her brand new tumble, the Moors. She is believed to be the first European woman to compete the double twisting double layout and is one of just a handful in the world to have included it in a routine. Amy also took the silver medal in the all around after struggling on beam and vault. She also came in second in the vault final, opting to downgrade her first vault to a Yurchenko full following issues with the DTY she performed in the all around final.
Alice Kinsella came in second on beam and just missed out on a medal in the all around final, coming fifth. She performed well on floor, but it wasn’t quite enough for a medal due to the strong performances of the top three. Taeja James, now in her first senior year, earned the silver on floor following a disappointing day in qualifications and Maisie Methuen claimed the beam title with a stunning routine which scored 13.400 and just missed out on a floor, medal, with Maisie finishing half a tenth behind Charlie Fellows. Her club, Clwb Cymru Caerdydd had a further two gymnasts in the bars final, Emily Thomas and Rebecca Moore, with Emily Thomas also making an appearance in the floor and vault finals. Definitely a club to watch over the next few years.
Finally, we couldn’t end this recap without mentioning Danusia Francis’ weird but amazing save out of her over-rotated double pike, managing to avoid a fall and corresponding one point deduction with her quick thinking. Definitely one of our favourite moments of the weekend!