Making an entrance - Rebecca TunneyFirst of all let me be clear - I am not surprised that Rebecca Tunney has done well this year. What has surprised me is just how well she has done.
As a junior, Rebecca was no stranger to success. In 2010 she represented Great Britain at the European Championships where she helped the team to a 5th place finish. Later that year, she placed 2nd all around at the National Championships and took the Gold on bars. In 2011, she went one better taking the Junior all around title at the National Championships. She then went on to represent England at the Commonwealth Youth Games where she helped the team to win the Gold medal and finished 6th all around. She also did well in the event finals there, finishing 5th on bars, 3rd on floor and taking Gold on vault.
Rebecca turned senior this year and made her debut at a senior competition at the London 2012 Test Event. She seemed a little nervy in qualification especially on beam, where she scored only 12.800. She did however make it to the bars final where she took 6th place, a great achievement for her first senior competition. Her nerves seemed to continue at the American Cup a couple of months later. Again it seemed to be beam that caused her the most trouble, falling three times and placing 8th overall. But what these competitions had done was give Rebecca some much needed experience as a senior gymnast. The American Cup in particular was a huge event. She was competing against some of the top gymnasts in the world, in a huge arena and was the only British girl taking part. I can only imagine how overwhelming that would have been for anyone, let alone a 15 year old.
As the year has progressed Rebecca has gone from strength to strength. Although it was evident from her early competitions that she had a great deal of talent, she has simply excelled herself in recent months. At the 2012 European Championships, Rebecca was part of the team that took 4th place. She also qualified to the floor final where she finished 5th.
After the European Championships, everything was focused on the Olympic Games. With three competitions coming up which would act as the Olympic Trials there was everything to play for. The first of these trials was the British Teams Championships at which she helped Liverpool (perhaps unsurprisingly) win the Team Championship. She also finished 1st all around, 1st on bars and 2nd on vault and floor. This 1st place finish was the start of an amazing winning streak. The second Olympic Trial was a friendly competition between GBR-ESP-FIN, where Rebecca once again finished 1st all around.
The third and final Olympic Trial was the British Championships, where Rebecca had a fantastic competition and successfully turned her previous year's Junior British Champion title to that of Senior British Champion. She also took the Silver medal on bars behind Beth Tweddle and came 4th on floor and 5th on beam.
With such amazing all around performances it was no surprise to anyone by this point that Rebecca was named to the 2012 Olympic Team. At 15 years old, she is the youngest British Olympian at the 2012 Games. I really cannot wait to see Rebecca competing in London. Her confidence is showing through more and more in her routines and her bright, sparky personality is really starting to shine through. It will be great to see her perform alongside her teammates in front of a home crowd. I have absolutely no doubt that Rebecca will continue to excel and wish her every luck in London and beyond.