Great Britain began strongly on day one of the 2015 Trampoline, Tumbling and Double-Mini Trampoline World Championships in Odense, Denmark, making six finals and four semi-finals across both the tumbling and trampoline gymnastics disciplines.
In the trampoline events, these championships serve as qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with the top eight gymnasts who make the final automatically making the cut and the next 13 gymnasts who are eligiable (those countries who already have representation in the top 8 are not included) make the test event in Rio next year. The British team successfully secured three places in the women’s individual semi-final and one in the men’s event in strong positions, which puts GB in a good position to potentially secure atleast two spots for the women and one for the men at next year’s test event.
In the women’s competition, it was the City of Liverpool’s Pamela Clark who finished top for GB in 6th. She looked calm under pressure and made the most of every skill and moment she had on the trampoline bed to put in two great performances for a total of 101.135. British Champion Bryony Page also excelled, going through two clean routines for a total of 100.715 to qualify in 10th. 2012 Olympian and most experienced team member Kat Driscoll looked mature and confident as she competed in her eighth World Championships to finish with a total of 100.440 and place 12th and also make the semi-final. Amanda Parker also showed great composure throughout to score a total of 98.200. Although she finished inside the top 24 in 20th, she will miss out on the individual semi-final due to the rule that only three gymnasts per country can compete. The girls also made the team final finishing in second place behind China.
Pam was pleased with the whole team’s efforts: “I’m really happy, it was a little bit unexpected but I think the work not only from me but the team and the coaches and support staff too has obviously paid off, not just for me but with all the other girls. I’m just going into the semi-finals with a clear head and then it’s just another competition again. Hopefully I will do another good performance and see where that takes me.”
Bryony added: “I think I’m more relieved than anything, my routines were a bit shaky because I was quite nervous but overall I’m really happy because when I was in the moment I felt strong.”
Kat is happy but wants to show more in the semis: “I’m obviously pleased but I know I’ve got improvements to make, which hopefully we can do come semi-finals. We have got team finals tomorrow, so we can use that as a kind of rehearsal as it’s a zero final and one voluntary routine, the same as the semi-final, and the see where we go from there.”
In the men’s trampoline qualification, Nathan Bailey finished top for GB in 14th making the semi-final with two well executed routines to finish with 105.480. His finish guarantees Great Britain at the very least a spot at the Olympic test event next year with the possibility still to come of a final and an automatic place. This is a great result for the British men’s programme after there were no male competitors at the London Olympics. British Champion, Luke Strong went through two clean routines but a few small errors left him out of the semi-final in 38th with 102.175. Teammate Kayvon Arasteh looked strong in his first routine but unfortunately could not complete his second finishing with 90.565 and 77th place.
Nathan said after: “I’m so pleased, it was the goal coming into these championship to make that top 24. I’m in a really good position and I am really happy with my performance and looking forward for what’s to come over the next few days.”
In the women’s tumbling, the British team looked incredibly strong in qualifications finishing in the top spot with 203.300 ahead of rivals China in second with 202.500.
Individually, British tumbling champion Lucie Colebeck finished highest for GB in 3rd with 68.300. She powered her way down the tumble track with beautiful lines and composure to make the individual final. Joining her will be the youngest team member Rachel Davies, who in her first senior World Championships proved she is world class scoring a total of 68.200 to qualify 4th. Yasmin Taite also looked strong and performed well under pressure to finish with 66.800 and 6th place; however she will not advance to the individual final due to the rule that only two gymnasts per country may compete. Fourth team member Ashleigh Long also went clean for GB and finished well in 12th place with a final score of 64.600.
The day finished for GB with the men’s tumbling team who although had to count a few falls, finished in 4th and will make the team final.
2013 World Champion Kristof Willerton was the top scorer for GB finishing with 74.00 marks and making the individual final in 9th (6th when the two per country rule is included). He looked strong in both his tumbling passes and is potentially looking to upgrade for the final. Mike Barnes put in two solid passes for a total of 68.3 and 19th place, which was impressive after being out of the sport so long and being called up to these championships late on after Greg Townley suffered an injury. Unfortunately, first year senior Elliott Browne over rotated his difficult triple pike somersault to start but he picked himself back up well in his second run performing multiple twists and gaining incredible height for 69.900 and 16th place. Abdullah Izzidien struggled to keep his rhythm in his first pass but he still went for his triple somersault and impressed the crowd as he managed to find his feet. He finished well for a 64.600 total and 29th place.
The championships continue tomorrow (Friday 27th) with the trampoline team finals, the women’s tumbling team final and the double-mini trampoline qualifications and women’s team final.