Team England produced the dream performance in the Commonwealth Games women’s all-around event to take gold, silver and bronze. Claudia Fragapane sealed the title with a memorable final floor routine that lifted the roof of the Hydro arena with Ruby Harrold taking the silver and Hannah Whelan the bronze to seal the perfect competition for the England girls.
The delight on each gymnasts faces and tears of joy as each score came up on the giant scoreboard will be one of the memorable sights of the whole Games. Each girl performed with great skill, desire and commitment, willing each other on as the event developed.
There also were superb top ten performances by more Home Nation gymnasts with Wales’s Georgina Hockenhull placing 6th, Lizzie Beddoe 8th and Scotland's Emma White in 10th.
Claudia said afterwards: “It doesn’t feel real. It's absolutely incredible I could never have imagined this would happen to me. I just always fight that’s my only secret, never give up and always try your best. To see the support from people in the stands and to have my best friends next to me just makes me want to cry, I’m so happy”
Ruby summed up her emotions: “I can’t really put it into words, to see the scores come through and all the medals for England is just crazy. These girls mean the world to me and it’s so special to have won with them.”
Hannah said: “I can’t believe it; I came in to his competition thinking I had nothing to lose and to get this medal is beyond as dream. We’ve been training together for years and are so close as a whole team so to share it with them is the greatest experience.”
The race for the medals..
England’s Ruby Harrold had a brilliant strong start on vault to take the early lead with top qualifier and teammate Claudia Fragapane following closely having powered down the vault run with purpose. Hannah Whelan (England) completed another clean vault as did Elisabeth Black of Canada and Welsh star Lizzie Beddoe.
Black was determined to mix it with the English girls and opened the bars performances well, Claudia following up with confidence and style. Hannah Whelan displayed some great skills and battled well to stick her landing and Lizzie Beddoe was superb with her clean controlled routine. Ruby Harrold last up excelled with her unique and highly difficult routine deservedly topping the scores and taking her into the lead.
Meanwhile competing in a separate group, Georgina Hockenhull of Team Wales produced a very confident and composed bars routine and followed up with a beautiful beam display to sit in 7th after half the routines.
Claudia Fragapane suffered a fall on beam after a tricky set of skills but recovered really well to complete a difficult routine. Hannah Whelan produced a dazzling opening sequence on beam, brilliantly performed to put her right into the medal mix.
Lizzie Beddoe also suffered an early fall but again showed great determination and pride to complete her routine well. Ruby Harrold also fell after a difficult combination of skills but continued with a fine dismount to narrowly just narrowly her lead from Claudia whilst Elisabeth Black also struggled on her favoured apparatus.
Mistakes for those over on beam presented Georgie Hockenhull with an opportunity to climb the rankings over on floor and she certainly committed everything to her routine but was unable to control some of her landings. She ended her performance on vault in tidy fashion to complete a brilliant performance for 6th.
And so it came down to floor to decide the medals with only tiny margins separating the top four.
Hannah Whelan committed everything to her routine, the crowd engaging right for the start as she powered through her tumbles, performing superbly taking her to bronze. Lizzie Beddoe completed her magical Games with a stylish and well executed floor routine ended in 8th place.
Ruby Harrold had do go for broke in a bid to retain her top spot knowing strong floor workers were to follow. Her determination and desire were clear to see as she flew into her tumbles and fought to stick every landing and scored well and claim the silver. Ellie Black is a renowned floor worker and so it proved with her huge tumble skills, however she struggled with her landings. And finally it was Claudia Fragapane, a whirlwind of power and skill, she performed a truly outstanding routine, full of energy and creativity landing her final tumble to huge ovations and the gold medal.
The competition was split into two rounds with the top qualifiers competing last up. Amy Regan and Emma White of Scotland, Grace Harrison of Isle of Man and Nicole Mawhinney of Northern Ireland took part in the first round and captured the crowd’s attention with their skilful and expressive routines.
The experienced Emma led the way with a fine performance in front of the home crowd and her watching boyfriend the 2002 all-around champion Luke Folwell; Emma scored 52.532 to set the early standard. Amy also performed well with her expressive floor particularly impressing as she scored 50.432 to follow closely behind her teammate.
Nicole Mawhinney ended her good competition with a superbly executed vault to go with consistent routines on floor, beam and bars to give her a score of 48.565. This was the first Games that the Isle of Man had had female gymnasts compete and just in making the all- around final Grace had done her nation proud and she did so again by completing neat consistent routines for a score of 47.559.
1. Claudia Fragapane (ENG) vault 14.733 bars 14.733 beam 13.700 floos 12.966 total 56.132
2. Ruby Harrold (ENG) vault13.700 bars 14.800 beam 14.566 floor12.166 total 55.232
3. Hannah Whelan (ENG) vault 13.500 bar 14.066 beam 13.100 floor 14.033 total 54.699