16/01/12: The first day of the rhythmic gymnastics competitions and the first step towards Olympic qualification for the GBR rhythmic group after a brilliant opening routine.
They have been set a benchmark score of 45.223 over the two day qualification process at the North Greenwich Arena, in order for a nomination to be submitted to the BOA to accept a host country place.
The group have a combined two routines to make that total starting with the ball. They entered the arena to a massive ovation from the home crowd and looked confident and determined from the start. Their complex routine called for perfect timing and synchronicity and they appeared faultless, ending with huge smiles for a job well done and a score of 23.100 to put them well on their way towards reaching the benchmark score.
Team member Rachel Smith said: “I think we did a really good job and are proving to everyone why we should be here. There’s a great feeling in the group and today we were confident and performed with confidence. We have put so much hard work in and we feel ready to show everyone what we can do, and are looking forward to hopefully producing another good routine tomorrow.”
Also competing for GBR, in the individual event, was Francesca (Frankie) Jones who has already put herself up for nomination for a host nation spot having finished as the top Brit at the 2011 World Championships, therefore Frankie was in action more to gain experience of big arena competition. She has four routines over the two days and began with hoop and ball on day one.
Second up in the whole competition Frankie looks a little nervous in her ball routine losing track midway but doing well not to let the ball escape her grasp for long she recovered well to score 20.550. In the hoop routine she looked much more composed and determined, her energetic music complementing a fault free performance to score her 22.475 and leave her with 43.025 points (25th) after day one, the half-way point.
Frankie Jones: “I’m disappointed with how I started today. I’m not sure if it’s a mixture of nerves and it being a relatively new routine, but I still shouldn’t have made those mistakes. I’m really happy to have made a comeback for hoop with a much more confident routine and am looking forward to tomorrow’s competition and more improvements. “
The qualification competition continues tomorrow (17th) with the group competing with 3 ribbons and 2 balls, and Frankie competing her clubs and ribbon routines.