Blog: new routines in Scotland

What a weekend at the Scottish Championships!

I went to the annual Scottish Championships in Perth on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th February armed with new routines on the Pommel, P-Bars and High Bar. My intention was to compete on these three apparatus only, as I really wanted to focus on my execution and consistency as I hope to include these new routines into my All Around competition for future major championships. It was also important to see if I could perform under pressure within a competition environment.

Saturday is always the All Around competition, and qualification for the apparatus finals is on the Sunday. The weekend also gave me a good opportunity to bond with my fellow Scottish team mates as we look forward to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and the World Championships in 2015, also in Glasgow. I have to say I was hugely impressed with the level of gymnastics over the weekend and the improvement of everyone within Scottish gymnastics. The Commonwealth Games should be really exciting as I believe Team Scotland really do have some good prospects.

My first apparatus on Saturday was Pommel and I had increased my start value/difficulty by 3 tenths since London. It was therefore important that I got my execution just right if I wanted to impress the judges; well, I had done just that and recorded my highest score on the Pommel for over two years – 15.9 – and also qualified new read They have defined NBA greatness for the past fifty years. 1st for the Pommel final on Sunday.   My next apparatus was the P-Bars and again I had increased my start value/difficulty, but this time by a massive 7 tenths since London, so it was even more important to impress. Again I did just that, and posted a massive score of 15.65 which also qualified me in 1st place for the P-Bar final on Sunday.

My final apparatus was High Bar. This was probably my riskiest routine as I had included a new release and catch move (called a “kovac”) into my routine where I perform a somersault over the bar before re-catching. In training and in warm up prior to the competition my new routine was going really well, but unfortunately in the actual competition I failed to re-catch the bar after my somersault. But I got back on and performed the rest of my routine very well, posting a score of 13.850. I still managed to qualify for the High Bar final on Sunday.

The Sunday apparatus finals saw me competing in the same order and it was really important that I performed well again so I could prove to myself that my routines are consistent enough to be included into my All Around competition.

First up: Pommel. Again I performed the same routine with very good execution, posting a respectable score of 15.830.

Second up: P-Bars. This time I decided to increase my difficulty again by another tenth as I was feeling really confident. Again I executed the routine very well but with minor errors, posting a score of 15.50.

Finally I really wanted to execute my new High Bar routine so, without hesitation, I went straight into my new release and catch move (the Kovac) and caught it perfectly………………but for some reason, and possibly due to my own excitement, I missed my next release and catch move (called the “Markelov”), something I have not done in years. Doh! The rest of my routine was very good though, and I posted a score of 13.967.

All in all I was very pleased with my performance, not only because my execution was very good, but also because my consistency was very good as I had performed the routines two days in a row.   I still have a few more skills I am working on for the Pommel, P-Bars and High Bar, but more importantly I also have some new skills for floor, vault and rings that should really start to push up my All Around score.

I would also like to congratulate all of the gymnasts that took part in the Scottish Championships. Well done to everyone!

Cheers, Dan