Britain's senior women’s gymnastics team have taken silver at the 2016 European Championship in Bern (SUI).
The GB line up of Becky Downie, Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Gabby Jupp and Ruby Harrold matched the medal won in 2014 with a final score of 170.312 . Britain and Russia proved to be a class above the other nations in the final despite both counting falls in the ‘all routines count’ format of the competition.
Rebecca Downie “It’s amazing to win the silver medal but there’s also mixed emotions as we know we could have performed even better. Coming in to the final we were dreaming of the gold but a few mistakes cost us today and that’s something we will learn from. Every girl tried their hardest and put everything in to it so there are no regrets. The fact there are those mixed emotions show how far we have come, when we won silver in 2014 we were all amazed and delighted. It just shows how much we’ve grown as a team and how much our ambitions have developed.”
Ruby Harrold adding “It is a fantastic achievement and when it sinks in I think we can all be very proud. We have proven again that we can push the best countries in the world. To be the second best country in Europe is fantastic and on top of that we know we can give even more which is a positive and motivation going forward.”
Britain were competing in the same group Russia and had to watch as their closets rivals in qualifying competed. Birthday girl Ruby Harrold (20 today) began the British campaign on vault with a tidy performance, just a small step back on landing to score 14.766 points. Claudia Fragapane followed with a tiny hop on landing her double twisting vault for 14.733 and then Ellie Downie confirmed our great start with an almost perfectly executed vault for 15.100 points. With Russia excelling on bars the British girls knew they were in a fight for the medals. Gabby Jupp got GB off to a solid start on bars, some loss of form but a clean routine overall to scores 14.383. Ruby Harrold unfortunately had trouble early on as she couldn’t quite re-grab the bar on her opening Tkatchev skill and fell; the rest of her difficult routine went well for 13.166. Finally Becky Downie completed a superb routine, rewarded with high execution scores form the judges to score an impressive 15.066.
At the halfway point this left Britain just over three points adrift of first placed Russia. On beam Gabby Jupp showed her class with some beautiful work in her difficult routine to score a superb 14.100. Unfortunately there were falls on beam for both Claudia Fragapane and Becky Downie, Claudia on her second series of skills, and Becky twice in her routine to score 13.266 and 12.533 respectively. The falls, whilst costly to the team score, had little impact on the standings as GB remained in silver medal position heading to the final apparatus, the floor. Ruby Harrold put in a good display for 13.933 points and Ellie Downie showed some huge tumbling skills to score 14.433. Last up Claudia Fragapane showed all her personality and skill to score 14.833 and seal the silver.
The European Championships end tomorrow (Sunday) with the apparatus finals for junior and seniors. In the seniors we have Becky Downie on bars and beam, Ellie Downie the floor and vault , Claudia Fragapane floor and vault and Gabby Jupp on bars . The senior finals will be shown live on the BBC red button and website from 10am with highlights of the championships on BBC two from 4pm.
Full results here.