29/7/12- North Greenwich Arena: The GBR women's artistic gymnastics team of Beth Tweddle MBE, Jennifer Pinches, Hannah Whelan, Rebecca Tunney and Imogen Cairns have qualified to the women's artistic Olympic team final for the first time since 1984 in 5th place.
As well as team qualification at stake, Beth Tweddle was under a lot of pressure to complete her difficult bar set to ensure she finished in the top 8 in order to advance to the apparatus finals. However, she performed her routine with complete ease, finishing with a flawless dismount, posting a huge score of 16.133, which qualifies her in first for the final on Monday 6th August.
Reigning British Champion, fifteen year old Rebecca Tunney and 2011 British Champion Hannah Whelan put in solid performances to advance to the all-around finals on Thursday the 2nd August in 13th and 15th place respectively with teammates Jennifer Pinches and Imogen Cairns playing vital parts in the teams qualification.
Beth Tweddle MBE: "I've thought about this competition and this bar routine for so long and to produce my best score this Olympic quad in qualifying - it couldn't be any better. I spoke to Louis Smith about the crowd and pressure and what to expect and he said they lifted him and it was definitely the same for me today, the atmosphere was incredible. The team are like sisters and we all pulled together today and relished the pressure. The balance of the team with the experience of Imogen Cairns, Rebecca Tunney only fifteen years old and performing brilliantly and Hannah and Jenni with great all-around displays- it worked perfectly. For me today was the big pressure day, people tried to calm me but deep down you know you have to perform, so to go out and do it is brilliant. The gymnasts have done a great job both days for GBR.”
The GBR women will next be in action on Tuesday the 31st July in the team final. Tomorrow (Monday 30th July), the GBR men’s team will compete in their team final at 4.30pm after qualifying in third place.
For the full results from today’s qualifications, please click here.
GB apparatus reports
Beam- Team total 39.632
Team captain Imogen Cairns led the way on the beam; known for her consistency she produced a solid routine to start the women off scoring 13.366. Jennifer Pinches followed her up with another clean routine for 13.100. European bronze medallist on this piece of apparatus, Hannah Whelan unfortunately had to count a fall which left her out of event final contention with 13.066. Young Rebecca Tunney was last up and although the youngest and most inexperienced she let nothing faze her and she put in a fantastic performance to score 13.166.
Floor- Team total 42.533
Over on floor Pinches looked more relaxed and produced one of her best routines to score 14.100 with Tunney following up with the same excellent standard for 14.00. Whelan pleased the crowd with her quirky choreography and posted another sound score for GBR (13.933). Tweddle anchored the team on this piece, where she is a former world champion, posting a brilliant14.433.
Vault- Team total 43.333
On the vault, Pinches (14.366), Whelan (14.500) and Tunney (14.400) all performed solid double twisting Yurchenkos to continue GBR’s good form. Cairns (14.433) only went for the one and a half Yurchekno vault but with such great execution scored just as highly as her teammates.
Bars- Team total 45.158
Pinches continued well on bars in what was one of her best competitions of late (13.700). Whelan followed up with a strong routine looking to correct her earlier error on beam (14.200) and youngster Tunney did not put a foot wrong in her complex routine scoring a huge 14.825. Tweddle looked calm and collected as she stepped up onto the podium in front of a packed home crowd. She completed her highest scoring routine within this Olympic cycle, completing all her difficult connections and posting the highest score of the day (16.133) to progress into the apparatus final in first and finish off a fantastic team performance for GBR.