James Hall and Ellie Downie are the new senior men’s and women’s all-around British champions.
In front of a big crowd at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, there was some jaw-dropping performances from some of Britain’s best gymnasts.
Having had injury issues since her historic European victory in 2017, Ellie returned to all-around competition and made a real statement ahead of the European Championships next month scoring 56.000. Beginning on uneven bars, with a new routine, her score of 14.900 was the best on that apparatus all day. Moving on to beam, Ellie kept her composure with a clean routine for 13.200. After a couple of steps out on floor (13.150), and needing a good vault on her last apparatus, she did just that. On one of her favoured pieces, Ellie scored 14.750 to win her second British title.
Ellie said: “I couldn’t be happier! I started on the bars and my training on bars hasn’t been the best this week so I was pretty nervous but I managed to get through it. After that I relaxed and I let my hard work take over.
“I’ve worked really hard to get back and this is the first time that I have managed to bring all my skills together at a competition, so I am just chuffed it went so well.
“This is another step towards the Europeans and I am looking forward to competing again next week.”
James dominated the men’s competition from start to finish, scoring consistently well for 84.850 all-around. His strength on each apparatus was evident, with his high bar routine including four huge release and catch elements and his parallel bar routine particular highlights. After scoring 14.550 on pommel, his penultimate apparatus, the result never looked in doubt.
James said: “It’s been a long time coming but I am just over the moon!”
“This year I wanted to put new routines out and so I had a revamp and I tried different things. Almost every routine has got new skills in there.
“I told myself that I wouldn’t look at the scores but sometimes you can’t help yourself. I had a silly mistake on floor which annoyed me but I did a great routine on pommel. After that I thought I could do this and I just needed to keep my head and do my rings routine.”
In the women’s competition, defending champion Kelly Simm from Dynamo was at her consistent best, scoring well on each apparatus for silver with 55.050. After competing a clean beam routine and a successful vault, her score of 14.650 on uneven bars pushed her up in to medals, before she scored the third best score of the day on floor to finish her competition.
First year senior Amelie Morgan from The Academy finished in bronze and actually led the competition after the first two rotations. Amelie, at just 15 years old, showcased all of the skill and artistry that makes her an incredible prospect for years to come.
Apparatus finals for the women will take place on Sunday afternoon, with the top eight scorers from today competing on each piece.
Winning silver in the men’s all-around was Giarnni Regini-Moran from Europa with 81.650. Returning to the all-around for the first time since 2016, it was great to see Giarnni back. Involved in a real fight for medals, Giarnni produced a floor routine of the highest quality on his last apparatus to secure silver.
First year senior Jamie Lewis from Woking stood up to the challenge of competing with Britain’s best to win bronze with 80.950. Having won multiple world and European medals as a junior, Jamie looked at home in Liverpool to take third.
The men’s competition also doubled up as apparatus finals, and it was no surprise to see James add the rings (14.150), parallel bars (14.850) and high bar (14.250) titles to his all-around crown. Giarnni also took home two individual titles thanks to impressive performances on floor (14.550) and vault (14.425).
Max Whitlock MBE from South Essex was also back in action, and shone on pommel, running away with gold thanks to a score of 15.450. It was also great to see Max in action on floor and parallel bars as he builds towards Tokyo 2020.
The top eight best scoring under 18’s and senior men on each apparatus will return on Sunday afternoon for the Masters final.
Earlier in the day Jacob Edwards from Olympus Gymnastics was crowned men’s under 16 all-around champion, coming out on top amongst a strong field. Leading going in to the final rotation, Jacob kept his composure under pressure getting through his parallel bars routine to set the bar with a score of 73.150 all-around.
Remell Bailey-Robinson from Earls Gymnastics showcased impressive floor work and a high-scoring final vault to jump up from third to second place on the final rotation with 72.650. Harry Hepworth from Leeds Gymnastics also showed why he is one to watch for the future, scoring 72.600 for bronze.
The top eight gymnasts on each apparatus also qualified for individual apparatus finals, which take place on Sunday morning.