11/10 Tokyo: The British girls produced a superb, near faultless display in the women’s team final at the 2011 artistic gymnastics World Championships to finish in 5th place - the best team result ever.
Every girl contributed to the team scores with Beth Tweddle producing one of the routines of the championships to score 15.66 on bars. The team of Beth, Jenni Pinches, Danusia Francis, Rebecca Downie, Hannah Whelan and Imogen Cairns combined to score 169.670 and 5th place ahead of Germany, Japan and Australia. USA took the title well clear of Russia with China in Bronze.
The British girls began their event on the floor with clean performances all round by Imogen Cairns, Hannah Whelan and Beth Tweddle getting the team of to a great start. The form continued on vault with Imogen scoring a 14.133 to lead the team along.
With cheers all around the arena for the ongoing battle between USA and Russia, the British girls moved onto bars, Becky Downie following up her great qualification routine with another superb performance and 14.433. The attention of the arena then turned to Beth Tweddle and she didn’t disappoint a near perfect routine and the biggest cheer of the whole week for her 15.666.
The girls were looking good with just the nerve-wracking beam to go. Jenni Pinches up first, her only routine of the day and she nailed it, Danusia Francis then took the pressure for a beautiful routine leaving Hannah Whelan, the team’s most consistent all-around gymnast up last. Hannah completed the clean beam round for GBR to give the team 169.670 and 5th place.
Hannah Whelan can now look forward to Thursdays all-around final with Beth Tweddle set to compete in the floor final on Sunday.
Hannah Whelan: “It’s amazing, after reaching the top 8 in qualifying and getting the team to 2012 which was are number one aim, we knew we could just go out and enjoy the final and we definitely did that. Every girl did there bit for the team, even Laura Edwards the reserve cheering us on, so as a group we are really happy and proud. Looking ahead to the all-around it’s a similar situation as I can go out there with nothing to lose and have fun and see where that gets me so I’m really looking forward to it!”
Beth Tweddle: “It was an amazing competition, the team spirit was nice and calm. We had all the pressure in qualification and today we could enjoy it having done the hard work which we have spent the last 6 weeks putting in. The bars routine was really great, it was for myself in many ways as I wanted to prove a point in a way and it’s the best routine I’ve done since being here and I’m very happy to produce that for my coach Amanda. Looking to floor I’m really excited, I’m feeling good, and have no pressure so I can’t wait!”
1 USA 179.411
2 RUS 175.329
3 CHN 172.820
4 ROU 172.412
5 GBR 169.670
6 GER 168.479
7 JPN 167.122
8 AUS 166.739
Floor – Cairns 13.700, Whelan 13.600, Tweddle 14.533
Vault – Francis 13.566, Whelan 13.966, Cairns 14.133
Bars – Whelan 13.466, Downie 14.433, Tweddle 15.666
Beam – Pinches 13.833, Francis 14.141, Whelan 14.633