10/05/12 Brussels (BEL): The second day of the 2012 women’s artistic gymnastics European Championships saw the seniors take to the arena in the hope of qualification for Saturday’s team final and Sunday’s apparatus finals.
The British girls, led by a sensational near faultless display from Hannah Whelan (57.633 all-around) ,qualified in third place in the team ranking with a brilliant performance scoring them 169.431 points.
Alongside the team final, Ruby Harrold qualifies for the bars final in 4th place, Hannah Whelan for the beam (4th) and floor (4th) finals, and Rebecca Tunney (6th) the floor final.
With Hannah Whelan leading the way, 15-year-olds Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold in their first senior major competition stood out with confident, highly difficult routines. Ruby’s bars score of 14.533 a highlight in the very first routine of the round, and Rebecca's double twisting Yurchenko vault for 14.833 - a super finale in the very last routine.
Ably supported by Danusia Francis and Jenni Pinches, the team made no major errors in the pressured completion format where every routine counted to the team total.
Having taken the European team silver medal back in 2010, the British team -with notable absentees in Beth Tweddle, Becky Downie and Imogen Cairns - will once again be hoping to make the podium in the final.
Ruby Harrold: “It was an amazing competition, a really good atmosphere and we competed really well as a team. We know each other really well having practiced side by side for weeks and it all went to plan.”
Hannah Whelan: “Everyone was so professional and did their job today. The new seniors were so composed it was brilliant, we have great strength and produced brilliant routines.”
Rebecca Tunney: “I competed at the 2010 junior Euros but that was nothing like here, with a full crowd, it was really great I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve been working on the new vault, the Yurchenko double twist and it’s paying off, I was really happy with that today.”
The Championships continue with the junior all-around finals on Friday with Angel Romaeo and Gabrielle Jupp competing for GBR.
Romania – 177.472
Russia – 172.563
Great Britain – 169.431
Italy – 168.005
France – 167.122
Germany – 163.022
Bars - 42.466
Ruby Harrold, a late call up for the team replacing Imogen Cairns was first up for GB in her first major senior event and produced a sensational bars routine. She showed massive power and confidence, full of swing with a brilliant dismount a fantastic score of 14.533
Rebecca Tunney, also making her senior major debut was also bursting with energy, showing very nice lines and again great dismount, she scored 13.733
Last up in the ‘3 compete, 3 scores count’ was the experienced Hannah Whelan who continues the great start for GBR, with only tiny hop forward on landing scoring her 14.200
Beam – 42.766
On to beam with Jennifer Pinches joining the event. She produced a well battled routine, had two scares but used her strength to fight through and stay on, dismounting well to score 13.966
Danusia Francis was next up with a lovely unusual mount onto the beam and great lines in her routine. She has one or two small wobbles with a spectacular dismount for 13.900
Hannah Whelan, the leader of the team was last with superb work, looking so solid and confident on the beam, a brilliant spin mid-routine with nice high leaps and a stuck dismount gave her 14.900
Floor – 41.233
Jenni Pinches began with explosive tumbles doing well to stay in play after her second pass, a nice solid routine scoring her 12.900
Rebecca Tunney followed; a brilliant dance start into massive first pass, she kept the high tempo going with huge tumbles and stuck landings for a superb score of 14.000.
Hannah Whelan last up with the whole arena watching produced yet another brilliant routine. She was hugely composed with nice accurate and difficult tumbles scoring 14.333, to keep up her faultless day.
Vault – 42.966
On to vault and once again the British girls were faultless. Ruby starting with 13.933 with more difficulty available for the final, followed by Hannah with 14.200, and Rebecca with a huge double-twisting Yurchenko for 14.833.