Jessica Gadirova from Aylesbury has won a sensational all-around bronze medal at the Artistic European Championships.
16-year-old Jessica, making her debut at a senior major championship, produced a string of brilliant routines scoring 55.100 points to ensure bronze, just edging out Amelie Morgan from the Academy, her British teammate, who was also in inspired form with 53.565 points to finish 4th. The top two places went to Listunova (56.731) of Russia and her teammate Melnikova (55.432).
In the men’s all-around final, both Jake Jarman (10th) from Huntingdon and Joshua Nathan (12th) from City of Birmingham, were also competing at their first senior major championship, and more than held their own, gaining valuable experience against Europe’s best. The medals went to Nagornny (88.032) of Russia, his teammate Belyavskiy (85.865) and Illia Kovtun (84.864) of Ukraine.
Women’s all-around final
Jessica began her competition on the uneven bars, getting her day off to a fine start by scoring 13.300. It was on to beam next where she had a few difficulties during qualifying. That proved not to be the case in the final where she produced an excellent routine to score 13.500 which left her in fifth at the half way stage.
Her fantastic competition continued on floor (13.700) where she packed in plenty of difficulty along with eye-catching choreography. Placed in 4th with one routine to go, she headed to her highest scoring piece, vault, and she scores a massive 14.600 which secured the bronze medal.
Speaking after receiving her medal, Jessica said: “I really wasn't expecting that at all. I put no pressure on myself I just wanted to come out and show Europe what I can do and do the best performance I could. I’m so proud of myself, from qualifications the main focus was to improve on beam so to do that and compete so well again feels amazing.
“I've worked really hard, made upgrades on all pieces and importantly I believe in myself and have a lot more confidence than I’ve ever had before which has really helped me. It’s just crazy to have a medal around my neck - so so crazy. Jennifer (twin sister and fellow GB gymnast) has been messaging me all week saying how exited she is for me and telling me to go out and smash it and enjoy the moment and that’s what I did.”
Amelie started by competing a well-executed full twisting Yurchenko on vault with the smallest step on dismount to score 13.633 before moving on to uneven bars. It was another clean routine from Amelie there too, with few deductions for 13.733 which put her in third place at the half way mark.
Amelie moved on to beam next, and showed why she qualified in third place for the final on that piece with an excellent routine that included a brilliant flight series midway through. She equalled her score from qualifying with 13.433. Completing her competition on floor, it was another very well executed routine, scoring 12.766 to ensure 4th.
Men’s all-around final
Jake secured a top 10 finish got his competition off to the perfect start, scoring 14.733 with a highly difficult vault. On parallel bars (13.866) he continued that good form, showing good strength elements, before heading to high bar (11.600) where he unfortunately had to count a fall – the bar just out of his grasp on his opening release and catch skill.
An excellent floor worker, he moved their next where his high difficulty routine was packed with twisting tumbles for 14.266. His penultimate apparatus was pommel horse, where he scored 13.100, just bettering his score from qualification, before he concluded his European Championships on rings. His score of 12.666 giving him an all-around total of 80.231.
Joshua’s competition also started on one of his favoured apparatus, but his pommel routine (12.733) couldn’t quite match his score from qualification. He’ll be back to compete in the final on that apparatus tomorrow (Saturday). He moved to rings and did well, showing good composure for 12.600, before scoring 14.000 on vault where he demonstrated great form through the air.
Parallel bars (13.933) was next up and he produced a brilliant routine with good execution and little to deduct and followed that with some neat, tidy work for 12.766 on high bar. He finished the competition on floor, and continued his consistent form by scoring 13.733 for an all-around total of 79.765.
The Championships continue with the first day of apparatus finals on Saturday with Jessica competing on vault, Joe Fraser and Joshua Nathan on pommel and Amelie Morgan in the uneven bars final.
Saturday 24th April
Watch all-around final highlights on BBC2 from 12pm-1.30pm, including live coverage of the men’s floor final. Live coverage of all other finals will be available on BBC Online and BBC iPlayer throughout the day.
Women’s vault final and men’s pommel horse final (1.10pm-1.55pm)
Women’s uneven bars final (2.10pm-2.55pm)