Saturday 16 March 2013

Looking Forward

Espoir Apparatus Finals

Today saw the All Around competition of the British Espoir Championships 2013. It was a hotly contested title, with Catherine Lyons trying to regain the crown. Also battling for the Gold were Georgia-Mae Fenton, who won the Espoir English Championships recently, Teal Grindle, who was so impressive at the Australian Youth Olympics earlier this year, and Louise McColgan, a first year Espoir who won the Level 2 National Title last year. In the end it was Georgia-Mae Fenton who took the title followed by Catherine Lyons in 2nd, Teal Grindle in 3rd and Louise McColgan just missing out on the medals in 4th.

Today's competition not only crowned the All Around Champion, but also served as the qualifiers for the apparatus finals which will be held alongside the Junior and Senior British Championships in Liverpool next weekend. With so much talent in this category here are the gymnasts that I am looking forward to seeing in the finals.

Catherine Lyons
Her grace and elegance in all of her performances have meant that this young gymnast has been a familiar name to many gymnastics fans for some time now. She truly is an artistic gymnast and is a delight to watch. Catherine has qualified to three finals next weekend, bars (3rd), beam (5th) and floor (1st). Her floor work is simply stunning as she is able to show off her grace and beauty of movement. Her beam work is also very fluid and she brings a great deal of elegance to this apparatus. She is also one of the few gymnasts who (in my opinion) is able to make bars look elegant. She swings well and has a great fluency in all her moves. She is definitely one I can't wait to watch.

Georgia-Mae Fenton
Catherine's Europa team-mate has had a quieter career so far but is definitely starting to shine. This tiny looking gymnast has got some very impressive work and as well as taking the All Around title today she also qualified to three finals: bars (1st), beam (3rd) and floor (=3rd). Her routines are full of energy and she certainly looks to be a gymnast with a bright future ahead of her.

Louise McColgan
Having been impressed with Louise at Level 2 last year, I was eager to see how she would get on in the Espoir level. A fourth place all around finish and three event finals shows that she is going to remain one to watch as she moves up through the Espoir and Junior levels before turning senior in 2017. She qualified to three event finals: bars (=6th), beam (=1st) and floor (=3rd). She is a beautifully expressive gymnast who works very cleanly and is delightful to watch. I am particularly looking forward to her floor, where she works so well with the music, and her beam, hoping she can retain that 1st place finish on finals day.

Teal Grindle
Teal is a dynamic gymnast who has enjoyed a great deal of success recently. As well as finishing 3rd in today's All Around competition she also qualified to all four apparatus finals, finishing 2nd on vault, 2nd on bars, equal 1st on beam and 2nd on floor. Pretty impressive! She will be hoping to be in the medals quite a bit next weekend and I cannot wait to see her fabulous performances in each of the events.

Lucy Stanhope
Lucy is a first year Espoir gymnast from City of Liverpool. As with pretty much all of Liverpool's gymnasts, Lucy proved today that she is one to watch. Placing 8th in the All Around competition, she also qualified to all four finals finishing 6th on vault, equal 6th on bars, 4th on beam and equal 7th on floor. This young gymnast has some beautiful work and I am particularly looking forward to seeing her in the beam final where she has a routine full of personality and original work.

The Espoir Apparatus finals take place on Sunday 24th March alongside the senior and junior apparatus finals.

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