The Men’s and Women’s British Championships is the most prestigious event on the artistic gymnastics national calendar, taking place from the 22nd-24th March 2013 at Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The championships see the country’s top gymnasts battle for coveted British titles; the showpiece event being the crowning of the new senior all-around champions.
Over the three day event, which includes competition for juniors and seniors, in both the all-around – where gymnasts compete on all pieces of apparatus- and individual apparatus competitions, the crowd will be treated to awe-inspiring displays of strength, suppleness, stamina, coordination and courage.
The battle for senior titles
In 2012 Southport’s Daniel Purvis took the men’s title for the third year in a row and once again he will be looking to clinch the trophy, however the competition will be fierce.
Dan said “Last year’s British Championships was fantastic - taking the title and also individual medals in such a brilliant arena, and hopefully this year I can do the same. There’s no doubt the competition is really high and with some juniors moving up to senior level it’s not going to be easy but I’ll be battling all the way.
British male gymnasts are amongst the very best in the world as demonstrated by the senior and junior teams being crowned European Champions in 2012, along with Team GB boys claiming an historic team bronze and two individual medals in London. Dan’s Olympic teammate’s last summer Sam Oldham and Max Whitlock will also be in the running for the all-around title, while Kristian Thomas unfortunately suffered injury at the recent French World Cup and has withdrawn from the competition after a consultation with the chief medical officer.
Daniel Keatings who just missed out on a Team GB spot last summer will also be out to impress along with several promising first year seniors such as Frank Baines and Courtney Tulloch.
In the women’s event, 2011 champion and London Olympian Hannah Whelan, who recently captured the English title, will be looking to reclaim the overall crown while attention is sure to be on rising 15-year-old star Gabby Jupp in her first major senior event.
Hannah said “I’m really looking forward to competing again in front of the home crowd and atmosphere which is always great in Liverpool, to have the boys and girls competing together will also really add to the event and be great for the fans. It would be great to reclaim my title but I know there are plenty of younger gymnasts coming up who are threats. I feel good though and will definitely be aiming to impress.”
With Hannah’s Team GB teammates Beth Tweddle and Imogen Cairns taking a break from competitive gymnastics and last year’s all-around champion Rebecca Tunney not defending her title as she recovers from injury, the race for the top spot could be wide open.
Established gymnasts to look out for include Ruby Harrold, Laura Edwards, Jocelyn Hunt and Nottingham pair Rebecca Downie and Niamh Rippin along with first year seniors Charlie Fellows, Georgina Hockenhull, Angel Romaeo and Raer Theaker.
A guide on how best to follow the event and further information can be found by clicking here
Tickets for the championships are available at www.echoarena.com
Friday 22nd March
Junior women’s all-around (12:30 – 14:50)
Under 16 & under 18 men’s all-around (18:45 – 21:40)
Saturday 23 March
Senior men’s and women’s all-around (11:30 - 14:30 &16:15 – 19:30)
Sunday 24th March
Apparatus finals (10:30 – 12:30 & 13:15 – 15:15)