The penultimate day of the 2018 Gymnastics British Championships saw some jaw dropping gymnastics as some of the country and world's best gymnasts came together to battle it out for tittles.
There was a new champion for the women in the form of Kelly Simm from Dynamo. Kelly went quietly but confidently about her business and produced some strong routines for an all-around score of 53.400. Four clean routines gave her the title and she will hope to take this great form on to the Commonwealth Games next month.
Kelly was over the moon as she came off the competition floor: “I actually can’t believe it, it’s absolutely mad. I’m so happy to do four clean performances and it really hasn’t sunk in at all. It’s crazy! Of course, it’s always a dream (to be British champion), but no, never really did I think it was possible. There are so many great girls in Britain and it’s such a close competition between us all. I think it was four steady performances. My vault score was good, and I knew when I’d done a good bars routine, but never did I think I would win. Some of my coaches were adding the scores up, but me and my other coach Keith were oblivious, we didn’t look at the scores.”
South Essex’ Brinn Bevan successfully took the gold in the men’s all-around competition. Brinn has been an integral part of the British team for many years but has had to fight back from injury, so this title shows he is well and truly back to fantastic form. He scored a total of 84.400 with some difficult but well-executed routines.
Brinn was thrilled to be in the top spot: “Do you know, it’s been amazing. The last year has been really difficult for me, as I injured myself last year and it’s been a long year getting myself back in to action. It’s just great that the performance has paid off today. I put my heart and soul in to it and for it to pay off on the day is unbelievable.”
In the women’s event, South Essex’s Amy Tinkler took the all-around silver with 53.050. Amy started on floor performing a brand new double twisting double somersault in the straight position. It’s the highest rated skill in women’s gymnastics and the routine gave her the lead from the off. Unfortunately she then had to count a fall on the vault, she fought back hard on bars but another fall on beam pushed her out of the top spot. Some difficult work however shows Amy means business and on the international stage she looks set to make her mark when she hits.
Taking the bronze medal was Park Wrekin’s Charlie Fellows with 52.850. Charlie had a fantastic competition, starting off strongly on the bars, Charlie went from strength to strength and finished with a solid one and half twisting yurchenko on the vault.
In 4th was Lucy Stanhope from the City of Liverpool, who showed some impressive vaulting but had to count multiple falls on the bars which just left her out of the medals with 51.850. In 5th was Park Wrekin’s Alice Kinsella who was going very well in her fight for the title until a fall and a few errors on the bars left her down in 5th with 51.650. In 6th was Clwb Cymru Caerdydd’s Emily Thomas who scored 51.350 who shows great potential ahead of the Commonwealth Games next month, where she will compete for Wales.
In second place for the men was rising star Dom Cunningham from the City of Birmingham with 83 marks exactly. Dom showed some incredible tumbling and vault work but unfortunately had to carry a few mistakes which left him just off the top spot. Nonetheless, Dom looked calm and confident on the competition floor with some great work to make the podium.
Completing the podium was experienced gymnast, Dan Purvis from Southport with 82.250. Dan has been at the top for many years and to still be winning British all-around medals is an incredible achievement and testament to his hard work.
Nile Wilson didn’t compete in the all-around event, but dominated on the rings, parallel bars and high bar, taking the top spots. Max Whitlock MBE was on top form on pommel taking the gold, with Dom Cunningham powering to the vault title and Frank Baines showing some clean and concise work on the floor to be crowned champion.
Earlier on in the day, the men’s under 16’s battled for their respective titles. In the end it was Notts’ Raekwon Baptiste who successfully took the title with some powerful and impressive performance for a total of 77.550. In the silver medal position was Pegasus’ Sam Mostowfi with 75.100 and in third, Jasper Smith-Gordon from Woking with 73.400.
Raekwon said after: “It’s amazing really because a couple of years ago in 2016 I won the British under 14 title, so to come back and do that again in under 16 is just...well the feeling is amazing.
I started on vault, but the thing I’m most proud of is my high bar routine because I was able to add a Kovac in which is quite new for me and I’ve never competed it, and on top of that I had three release and catches in my routine. The rest of the competition went really well. I’m also especially impressed with my rings because I was looking to come and prove that I was good on rings and I feel like I did that.
I want to try and make the Junior Europeans team so that’s the real aim this year.”
Raekwon went on to take the rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar titles, with Sam taking vault and floor. It was the City of Birmingham’s Korben Fellows who claimed the pommel top spot.
Full results can be found on our dedicated event page.
The competition concludes tomorrow with the apparatus finals and masters competitions.