29/03/14: Max Whitlock and Rebecca Tunney have taken the 2014 senior British titles in front of a packed crowd at Echo Arena, Liverpool.
In closely fought competitions for the all-around crowns, with the men competing over six apparatus and the girls over four, the 2012 Olympians Max and Rebecca held their nerve to score 89.000 and 56.750 and take home the gold.
Rebecca said: “It is amazing to be the British Champion again, especially with not competing last year. I just wanted to come out and prove to myself that even with my injuries last year I could still come out and give my best performance and that’s what I did. It means so much to me to be in front of a local Liverpool crowd and take the title; it’s a very proud moment.”
Max said: “My competition went really well and I managed to recover from the little mistake I made on high bar earlier on in the competition. The British Championships means a lot to me and to retain that title is really great, the crowd support really helped me get through the routines. The next few months I am going to try and up my difficulty a bit in preparation for the Europeans, Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.”
In the men’s competition, Max Whitlock looked calm and collected as he moved through the apparatus cleanly to retain his British title. Although he had a few form breaks on his signature piece, the pommel, he still managed to score 15.850 to contribute to his total score and take the British crown.
Dan Purvis collected the silver medal. Dan had to count a fall on his final tumbling pass on the floor finishing with 13.750. However his outstanding routines on the parallel bars and rings kept him in contention and he finished with 87.200.
It was Dan Keatings who took the final podium place. After not competing in the all-around event for two years Dan held his own against a tough field. Going into the final piece, the high bar, there was just 0.2 between himself and Max but an unfortunate fall pushed him down into third place.
In 4th place was Sam Oldham with 86.900, in 5th Kristian Thomas with 84.400 and 6th Frank Baines with 83.500.
On his return to British Championships action Louis Smith produced a clean and confident performance on the pommel horse to place him third with 15.750. With just .1 separating the top three.
Louis Smith MBE: “I came here with a simple plan to do my routines clean and I did that, which I am really happy about. My big picture now is to try and get a place on the team for the European and the Commonwealth Games, I just need to keep doing my routines clean. The way gymnastics has evolved in the last few years in Great Britain is brilliant and it showed here with the atmosphere tonight. It was a great crowd to compete in front of.”
In the women’s competition 2013 champion Gabby Jupp unfortunately had to withdraw as she still recovers from an injury suffered at the 2013 European Championships.
2012 champion Rebecca Tunney started off strongly on the vault looking to retain her title after not competing in 2013 due to injury. Moving on to the bars she put in the performance of her life to score 15.250, which was the highest score of the competition on this piece of apparatus and the routine that would take her to the gold. She went through her beam without any major errors and moving on to floor she wowed the crowd with strong tumbles and beautiful choreography.
Notts gymnast Becky Downie was competing in the all-around event final for the first time in five years. Although she had to count a fall on the beam her incredible skill and determination gave her the silver medal. Becky presented a beautiful new floor routine and secured a 15.00 on the vault for her double twisting Yurchenko and finished with 56.350.
It was Claudia Fragapane from Bristol Hawks who took the all-around bronze with 55.700. A highlight of her competition was landing her full twisting double straight back on the floor, making her the first British women to compete this difficult tumbling pass. She also powered down the vault run completing a double twisting Yurchenko and had nerves of steel on the beam managing to stay on her highly difficult full twisting tuck back somersault.
In 4th place was Cardiff’s Raer Theaker with 54.150, in 5th Georgina Hockenhull with 54.000 and 6th Kelly Simm with 53.700.
Unfortunately World finalist, Ruby Harrold from the Academy had to count three falls on the bars leaving her down in 9th with 52.550.
Routine videos from the event can be found here for the women and here for the men.
Men’s apparatus finals
As well as being awarded all-around medals in this competition, the top three men were also presented medals for each apparatus. All-around champion Max Whitlock took the floor and pommel titles with Dan Purvis taking the rings, Kristian Thomas the vault, Dan Keatings the parallel bars and Sam Oldham the high bar.
1. Max Whitlock 15.250
2. Dom Cunningham 14.700
3. Dan Keatings 14.600
1. Max Whitlock 15.850
2. Dan Keatings 15.800
3. Louis Smith 15.750
1. Dan Purvis 15.000
2. Courtney Tulloch 14.850
3. Max Whitlock 14.600
1. Kristian Thomas 14.875
2. Dominic Cunningham 14.65
3. Sam Oldham 14.275
1. Dan Keatings 15.450
2. Frank Baines 15.150
3. Dan Purvis 15.100
1. Sam Oldham 14.600
2. Theo Seager 14.55
3. Kristian Thomas 14.500