Wednesday 17 April 2013

European Dreams

The GB Girls

Tomorrow sees the start of competition for the women at the European Championships 2013. Throughout the day tomorrow (18th April) the women will take part in the qualifying competition in the hopes of scoring high enough to qualify to the finals: All Around, Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor. With a great deal of success already under their belts in 2013, the GB girls will be hoping to impress.

Gabby Jupp
Gabby has already made a huge impression in the few months that she has been a Senior. She started the year with a very solid performance at the American Cup, showing no sign of nerves despite it being her first Senior international competition and in such a huge arena. She continued to shine at the British Championships taking the All Around title, as well as Gold on Beam and Floor and Silver on Bars. More recently, Gabby competed at the Doha World Cup where she achieved 2 Bronze medals on Bars and Beam.

Gabby is a clean and consistent worker across all four apparatus. She will undoubtedly be hoping to make the All Around final as well as some apparatus finals. Beam is perhaps the most likely, with her strong and consistent performances but she definitely has a chance on Floor and Bars too. Although she does not have the same difficulty as some on Bars, her work is clean and her full twisting double layout dismount is effortless. If others make mistakes, Gabby will be there waiting.

Charlie Fellows
Another first year Senior, Charlie seems to have moved more quietly than some through the Junior ranks meaning that her name is still unknown to many. She has, however, burst on to the Senior scene with some style and seems intent on making a name for herself. Her clean work across all four apparatus brought her the Silver medal All Around at the British Championships earlier this year, as well as making three apparatus finals. She also competed well at the Tokyo World Cup recently, finishing in 6th place in her first Senior international competition.

For Charlie, the European Championships will be a great opportunity to gain experience in major international competition. If she works cleanly tomorrow she stands a great chance of making the All Around Final, and her clean and elegant work will give her a good chance at some of the apparatus finals.

Ruby Harrold
Ruby has recently gained the attention of many gymnastics fans around the world for her fantastic new Bars routine. Always an amazing Bars worker, Ruby has unveiled a brand new routine this year which has got everyone talking. It is great to see this young gymnast getting the recognition she deserves for her fabulous work. She proved her strength on this apparatus at the Doha World Cup recently where she took the Silver medal. She is not simply a Bars worker though - Ruby showed us earlier this year that she can work well on all the apparatus, taking 4th place All Around at the British Championships.

Ruby will definitely be hoping to make the bars final and perhaps even a medal if she performs her routine as well as we know she can on the day. She will also be in with a chance of making the All Around final, but with the two-per-country rule, she and Charlie Fellows will be battling each other as well as the rest of the field.

Becky Downie
Becky's focus recently has just been on Bars, but this has been with great success. Her upgraded routine has brought her nothing but Gold so far this year. She has taken the Bars title at both the English and British Championships, as well as winning Gold at the Austrian Team Open competition recently. This is certainly no surprise to those who have seen her fantastically difficult and well performed routine.

Becky will of course be hoping to make the Bars final this weekend and will also be hoping to take a medal. With her focus on Bars rather than the All Around, could we be looking at Britain's next Beth Tweddle?

The European Championships start on Thursday 18th April for the women, with the qualifying competition. The All Around Final will take place on Friday 19th April with the apparatus finals on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st. For those in the UK, BBC coverage of the Championships is available for the finals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.