British Championships 2014This coming weekend sees the battle of the Brits with the 2014 British Championships. British Gymnastics is asking you to 'Choose your champ', but with such a wide field of gymnasts competing this is surely going to be a tough decision, especially with reigning champion Gabby Jupp being out of the running due to her recovery from an ACL tear last year. So who are the possible champions of 2014?
After her fourth place finish at the British Championships last year, Ruby has been going from strength to strength, not just on her signature piece, uneven bars, but also in the all around competitions. This was reinforced recently by her all around win at the English Championships. She will definitely be hoping to turn English Gold into the British title this weekend.
After a disappointing 8th place finish all around in the 2014 British Championships, Hannah will be hoping to be back to her winning ways this year. She recently took the Welsh Open title by more than 2.500 ahead of Welsh Champion Raer Theaker with routines that included a grasp on beam and simple, single somersault dismounts on both bars and beam. With full routines by this weekend, Hannah will have the title in her sights.
The British Champion in 2012 and Team GBs youngest Olympian, Rebecca was unable to defend her title in 2013 due to injury. Although we do not seem to have seen much of Rebecca in the last couple of years, recent performances have been showing that she has been working on upgrades which we will hopefully see this weekend. Always one to perform well on the big occasion, she cannot be counted out.
Kelly is a gymnast who seems to have made a great improvement throughout the year. She was selected to compete for Great Britain at the 2013 Austrian Open, where she took the All Around title. At the 2013 British Teams competition she took the silver medal, second only to Ruby Harrold. I am sure we will see much of Kelly this coming weekend.
Current Welsh Champion, Raer was beaten in the Welsh Open only by Hannah Whelan. After finishing in 6th place at the British Championships last year, I am sure Raer will be hoping to improve on that and will have the medal rostrum firmly in her sights.
A first year senior in 2013, Charlie impressed at last year's British Championships by taking the Silver medal in the all around. She is another gymnast we do not seem to have seen much of recently. She placed 4th at the recent English Championships but she will no doubt be hoping to repeat last year's British success this coming weekend.
Although still an outsider for an all around medal, it cannot be denied that Lisa has proved her doubters wrong. Having made a comeback last year at the age of 31 and after 13 years of retirement, Lisa initially only competed on vault and beam. This year however, she has not only tackled all four apparatus but finished a very creditable 7th place all around at the recent English Championships. Definitely still one to watch.
These are just a handful of the gymnasts that I cannot wait to see compete at the weekend. Others to watch out for include Claudia Fragapane, Jade Armstrong, Georgina Hockenhull and, of course, Becky Downie who is now competing on three apparatus. It certainly looks like it is shaping up to be a great competition.
Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!