Britain’s men’s team have finished in 5th place in the team final at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
The team of Dom Cunningham, Max Whitlock, James Hall, Joe Fraser and Giarnni Regini-Moran qualified in 5th place, and produced a string of impressive routines to replicate that in a final that showcased the very best of men’s artistic gymnastics.
James said: "Fifth in the world is an enormous achievement and I’m so so pleased, especially for the team. It was incredible and I enjoyed every second of it."
The team started their competition on rings, with Dom first to compete. He got the team off to a solid start, showing good strength elements for 13.700. Next up was James, who qualified for the all-around final two days ago, and he took the smallest step back on dismount for 13.966. Completing a good opening rotation for the team was Joe, and they saved the best until last; Good strength elements, little movement on the rings and a stuck dismount scoring 14.333.
Moving on to vault, and it was a great rotation for the team. James was first up and showed great form in the air and no movement on his landing for 14.666. Dom showed off all his quality on this apparatus with a two and a half twisting Yurchenko and a hop forward on landing for 14.400. Giarnni, last up, produced his best vault of the Championships, sticking his landing for a massive 14.833.
James continued his excellent start to the competition in rotation three with a well-executed parallel bars routine, scoring 14.200. Giarnni was up next and had to fight through the end of his routine after packing in plenty of difficulty, scoring 13.933. Joe, who will compete in the parallel bars apparatus final later this week, produced another high quality routine on this piece. He’s becoming a master of this apparatus, and packed in the difficulty with good execution for 14.833.
Max competed for the first time in the competition on high bar, and produced a neat, tidy routine, and a couple of steps back on dismount for 13.066. James competed next and showcased huge release and catch elements for 13.916. Joe (12.666) then concluded the fourth rotation, but had to count the teams first fall of the day when he came off on his final release and catch.
It was a great start to the 5th rotation which took the team to floor, with James continuing to impress, sticking a number of his tumbling passes for 14.200. Dom then produced a routine equally as impressive, packing in six huge tumbles before showing his delight at the end, scoring 14.466. Giarnni completed the rotation and opened with three big tumbling passes, before having to sit down his fourth after slightly underrotating, scoring 13.200.
Pommel horse was the last rotation for the British team and James finished off a great day for himself personally with another solid routine, scoring 13.300. Joe then scored 13.800 with a good, flowing routine. Max finished off the competition for GB and, going for his high difficulty routine, came off just as he was getting in to his flair work. He composed himself and finished his routine well, and still scored highly with 14.133, which demonstrated the level of difficulty included.
James, talking about his own all-around performance, said: "I know we’d qualified for the Olympics already, but I really wanted to do well for the team. That’s all I wanted from this entire Championships. The all-around final is a bonus. Today, I feel like I did my job for the most part and I’m really pleased to do it for the team. It’s a great team, and we did a great job.”
Giarnni, competing in his first World Championships as a senior having fought back from injury setbacks, said about the experience: "It’s been all about getting out here and being on that main stage again after two or three years our of it. I think, learning how to deal with nerves again in pressure situations is a big thing to take out of this. In qualifications I feel like I let them get the better of me, and maybe even today they did a little, but it’s all a great experience and I can look back and learn from this."
He went on to say about his vault that scored 14.833: "I went out in to the back gym, getting myself a bit more mentally prepared and I knew in my head I could land that vault, but I just had to control my nerves, but use that adrenaline as fuel to help me a bit, and when I stuck it, I was surprised! I didn’t really know what to think. I didn’t want to celebrate because I couldn’t believe what I’d done! I really am happy with how myself and the team performed today."
Tomorrow (Thursday) sees Alice Kinsella compete in the women’s all-around final, before James and Joe return on Friday for the men’s all-around final.