Well, the competition season is now in full swing!
It all kicked off with the British team championships on Sunday the 18th March in Leicester. Six teams fought it out – City of Leeds Gymnastics, Hinckley Gymnastics, Huntingdon Gymnastics, South Essex Gymnastics, Loughborough Students Gymnastics and Tolworth Gymnastics.
South Essex were the reigning champions and were looking strong again, along with Huntingdon and Leeds. We knew that this was really going to be a closely fought contest.
As part of the Huntingdon team, we started on Pbars and I contributed by posting one of my highest scores ever on this apparatus of 15.6 after executing some of the new skills I had been working on. Next up was High Bar and again, as in Scotland, I was trying my new routine with Kovac, which I caught cleanly but then went on to make an error in the final half of my routine which cost me dearly. Floor was next and executed cleanly, before Pommel where unfortunately I made an error on my dismount. The penultimate apparatus was rings, and again with a new routine, I posted a relatively good score of 14.1 considering I made an error on my landing. My final apparatus was vault, and unfortunately another error on landing cost me dearly.
Personally, I was quite pleased with my performance, as all of my new skills on Pbars, Hbar and Rings were all executed cleanly. Unfortunately, though, as a team we had made too many errors and were beaten into Silver by South Essex who took Gold, with the City of Leeds in Bronze.
The following week saw me travelling to Cottbus in Germany for the Cottbus Word Cup series where I was to compete on three apparatus: Pommel, Pbars and High Bar. The qualification rounds were on Thursday for Pommel, and Friday for Pbars and High Bar.
On Thursday, in the Pommel qualifications, I was up against numerology Cancer mentions that the situation will get out of control in November and December, when the most violent conflicts will break out, after which it?ll be difficult to get together without painful resentment and accusations. 50 entrants from all over the world including the reigning Olympic Champion. I executed a clean routine posting a score of 15.5 that saw me qualify in first place for the final on Saturday. The following day in the Pbar qualifications, I was up against 40 contestants and again I was trying some of my new skills which I executed cleanly. Unfortunately, due to two minor errors in the final part of my routine, I posted a score of 15.00 which saw me just miss out on the final by 0.025 of a mark. This placed me 9th with only the top eight qualifiers going on into the final. Next up was High Bar, and again I was trying my new routine with Kovac, but unfortunately it all went wrong right from the start and I ended up finishing my routine early as it was too late to even rescue it. Looking on the bright side, though, it was still good to try it out against an international line up!
Saturday was finals day and in the Pommel Final I was up against a very strong field including the current Olympic Champion Xiao Qin. My training session in the morning preceding the final was going really well and I was feeling pretty confident, although the starting order could have favoured me a little better considering I had qualified in first place. I was up second which is always a tough draw as you normally have to execute your best routine in order to set the pace and boy did I do just that! After executing a near-perfect routine except for a minor pause in my dismount, I posted a score of 15.775 – a very strong score that put me in first place and set a great marker for the rest of the field to chase
My biggest challenge was now going to come from Xiao Qin (China) up fifth, Max Whitlock (Great Britain) up seventh, and Andrey Likhovitskiy (Belarus) up eighth, as they all had a difficulty rating similar to mine. After 4 contestants I was still in first place with Xiao Qin up next – with the added pressure of being the Olympic Champion, all respect has to go to Xiao Qin as he executed a perfect routine with a score of 15.925 to pip me into first place. My next challenge was to come from GB”s rising star, Max Whitlock, who posted a score of 15.350 in qualification and was a serious medal contender. Under immense pressure and now chasing two very high scores, Max put in another awesome performance to score 15.525 placing him in the bronze medal position. The final threat would come from Andrey Likhovskiy – BLR another serious medal contender, but unfortunately after a minor error Andrey posted a score of 15.325 which saw him finish in fifth.