Jessica Gadirova from Aylesbury, Amelie Morgan from The Academy and Joe Fraser from City of Birmingham have all won medals on the first day of apparatus finals at the 2021 Artistic European Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
Jessica won her second medal in as many days by securing silver on vault, Amelie claimed a fantastic bronze medal on the uneven bars and Joe scooped bronze on the pommel horse during an action-packed afternoon.
Her first vault was a double twisting Yurchenko, identical to the one she competed in yesterday’s all-around final. Great height and form through the air gave her a score of 14.600, and she backed it up with a difficult second vault that had smallest step on dismount for 14.333.
That gave her an average of 14.466, and after six gymnasts she led the way, only for Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber to take gold with the penultimate routine.
“It’s absolutely crazy for me to be in these finals and winning medals. I’m just a newcomer and the gymnasts I’m against are legends who’ve been to so many championships and won so many medals. It’s amazing to compete with them and even more amazing to stand next to them on the podium.”
It was a lovely routine with great lines throughout, and speaking after receiving her medal, she said: “I said I was over the moon yesterday (after placing 4th in the all-around final), today I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel, I literally can’t stop smiling! I couldn’t ask for anything more. To win a medal is more than I could ever have asked for, it feels unreal.
“I’ve had a lot of experience now of major competitions particularly from junior level, but this is a step up. To firstly have made my first senior individual final, to then come away with a medal is the icing on the cake. Going into it I just wanted to prove my consistency and put in another good routine, it wasn’t about aiming for that medal. I never expected to be on the podium at the end. It’s amazing!”
Joe said: “I’m really happy with that result, I had a little mistake mid routine that set me back and from there it was just a case of going for it, swinging as wide as I could. I wouldn’t class myself as a pommel worker so to be in the final was a big achievement and made even more special by being with Joshua (Nathan) from the same club as me.
“Given that in qualifying I made mistakes on the apparatus that I would consider my better ones, it gave me the opportunity to approach this final without expectations so to come away with a bronze medal, I’m more than happy.”