Individual trampoline qualification – GB girls secure Olympic place
17/11: Great Britain have secured an individual trampoline place in the 2012 Olympic Games after British Champion and World number one Katherine Driscoll claimed a finals spot in the 2011 World Championships at the NIA in Birmingham.
Kat finished in 9th place in qualification, but with only two gymnasts per nation making the final, Kat jumps up to 7th to make Sunday's final and claim an Olympic place for GBR.
British gymnastics Olympic Performance Director Tim Jones said: “We have mixed feelings about today; our aspirations were to secure at least a couple of places for the 2012 Olympics. We have four strong women and it has been a solid day of performances but I think we probably would have hoped one of them would have shone in qualification and whilst not distracting from Kats performance in making the final, which was a terrific achievement, then it probably wasn’t the performance everybody was looking for. We were realistic when we came with the men, we had three young boys who are primarily prospects for Rio. It’s going to be tough for the boy's and the plan for the next couple of months is a lot of hard work.”
The British women's team also progress through to the team final in 3rd place and will be looking for a medal in Friday's final, with their combined score of 294.840. For the British men it was a disappointing day but one from which the young squad will learn a lot.
In the women’s qualification Chinese Olympic Champion He Wena proved her class leading the competition going into the final with 104.120, with her teammates following her to dominate the women’s rankings. Double Olympic medalist Karen Cockburn of Canada looks best set to challenge the Chinese dominance as she qualified in 4th spot with 101.990.
On the men’s side again China were in a league of their own with reigning World Champion Dong Dong taking the lead with a massive 111.490 points with his teammates in all in the top 4 places.
For the full results click here.
The British women were in the very first group of the day. The familiar surrounding of the NIA and the vocal crowd giving them the home advantage and they looked to set the pace early on – the aim to get two individuals into the top 8 come the end of the day’s qualification.
Bryony Page was the first up with her set routine, the gymnasts competing both a “compulsory” routine which is the same for all gymnasts, and a “voluntary” routine which is individual and where the gymnasts can really show their level of difficulty, with both of these scores added to get the final total.
Bryony completed almost all of her compulsory to perfection until the final ‘out bounce’ where she lost her way unfortunately sitting on the end matt to score 42.430.On to her voluntary routine and Bryony began a little nervously, composing herself really well for a 52.420 and a total of 94.850
Emma Smith began with a beautiful clean compulsory routine, minimum travel across the trampoline and nice clean lines for a set score of 45.160.On to the voluntary where Emma is renowned for her huge difficulty, she starts with three consecutive triple somersaults, completes her routine cleanly for 52.625 and a total of 97.785.
Laura Gallagher started with a solid compulsory routine controlling the final skills well, she finished with a half in rudi out piked to score 45.360.Laura followed with another high quality routine, 52.930 and 98.290
Kat Driscoll, British Champion and World number one was the last British woman to begin her competition and performed a beautiful compulsory routine, very little movement from the centre spot with lovely clean lines for 46.110.For her voluntary routine Kat completed the routine she set out to but had to amend the order of skills after a difficult med-section, her experience guiding her through to complete cleanly and score 98.765
First up for the men was Nathan Bailey in his first senior World Championships, an unfortunate early exit on the 4th move of his compulsory meant he made slight contact with the side-frame of the trampoline to end his routine, he scored 9.185. Nathan also struggled on his voluntary routine, again drifting wayward and halting his routine early for a 12.369 and total of 21.545.
Jack Helme made a great start to his competition with a nicely executed compulsory routine to give him 47.059. For his voluntary he began with 3 triff start and fought his way through to ten moves with some great support for the crowd for 54.120 and a 101.179 total.
Luke Strong, in the venue that he took the British title in earlier in 2011, completed all his 10 skills in his compulsory well for a score of 46.690, his voluntary also clean scored him 55.750 and a total of 102.440.
James Higgins, the most experienced member of the GB team, looked fully focused and produced a great compulsory routine – 47.560. His voluntary however didn’t go to plan, a good first 5 skills but an unfortunate mistake terminated his routine early giving him 12.480, for a total of 60.040.
Kat Driscoll- “We were all pretty nervous coming in to the arena understandably, but we went out knowing we’d done enough training and were prepared. My compulsory routine was around the score I was hoping for and what I have been performing throughout the season, my voluntary I had a little mistake but recovered and finished the routine so it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for but it was clean. Training at the arena has been great I couldn’t have asked for more it was just small mistake on the day. We're so proud of what we’ve done, I’m proud of the other girls and what they’ve achieved. “
Laura Gallagher- “I’m personally a little bit disappointed with my routines, but two clean routines in my second senior World Championships is still good and a great experience. It was really strange at first being back at the NIA it felt like it was the national Championships again but the set out is the difference and the podium looks amazing.”
Nathan Bailey- “It’s my first World Championships and although it didn’t go to plan I really enjoyed the experience. It will give me a boost in training to try harder and the spark to improve. “
Luke Strong- “My routines didn’t quite go to plan but I still completed two clean routines. I tried not to think about the pressure going in as British Champion but it’s always in the back of your mind. Training went really well I guess it was just down to nerves on the day.”