21-year-old James Hall from Pegasus Gymnastics Club in Kent has taken the all-around bronze medal at the 2017 Gymnastics European Championships after a fabulous performance in Cluj, Romania.
James, who was recently crowned the 2017 English All-around Champion, went through all six pieces calmly and confidently producing some difficult but clean work. He began well on the floor and pommel when others faltered and things only got better from there with more consistent performances across the rings, vault and parallel bars. Finishing on one of his strongest pieces, the high bar, James went for broke with multiple daring release and catch elements and his consistency and great work paid off as he clinched the bronze medal with a total of 84.664 behind Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan in silver (85.498) and multiple Olympic medallist Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) in gold (85.866).
James Hall was left almost speechless after the event: “I’m struggling to speak right now; I can’t believe what’s just happened. I’ve performed my best ever gymnastics when it matters on the biggest stage of my career, that’s just crazy, it’s hard to get my head around to be honest. My first major championships, I wanted to show the world what I could do and I can’t describe the feeling having done that. I thought to myself beforehand, ‘I’ve qualified third and I know I can be better, nothing is impossible go for it’ and that’s what I did.”
Birmingham’s 18-year-old Joe Fraser was also competing in the event, in his first year as he senior gymnast. Joe held his own against experienced gymnasts and performed excellent routines with no mistakes across of six apparatus to take a very impressive 5th place, with a total of 82.982.
Joe Fraser: “I feel unbelievable. My aim was to compete with no pressure, make improvements from qualifying and see where that got me. I’ve had the most incredible few weeks after winning the British title and now I’ve shown European what I can do.”