If you read my last blog, you’ll know I mentioned that British Gymnastics had added an extra competition to our diaries on the 12/13th November – The Stuttgart Grand Prix in Germany. My training ahead of this competition was going really well and I had managed to get back to full fitness after a couple of days rest following the World Championships. I had also done a couple of control competitions at Huntingdon and posted some very good All Around scores – really promising for Stuttgart! I also had the opportunity to try out some new skills. This is the part of training I enjoy the most as it’s a massive adrenaline rush when you try out a new skill for the very first time!
Qualification for the Team competition was on Friday 11th when we were up against our fellow teams from Germany, Russia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ukraine and a Mixed Team. The pressure was on,
as we knew that only four teams would be progressing to the final the next day. Back at Huntingdon, during the final training session of the day, I was putting together the finishing touches to my routines before an early start in the morning to make it to Stuttgart for the Grand Prix. This is probably the hardest part of being a gymnast as it involves a lot of repetitions across all six apparatus. The pressure is really intense too during the run-up to a major competition like the GP. We do nothing but repetitions for about eight weeks which can become very frustrating, especially if you’re having a down day. This particular day, however, was going really well and I was on my second routine on the Pbars when I slightly misjudged my exit from a somersault and stubbed my fingers on the bar. As you can imagine it was pretty painful, but more disappointingly it also ruled me out of the competition in Stuttgart, as I was unable to bend them due to the swelling. I should be ok in a couple of weeks, but I was really gutted to be missing out and not able to represent Team GB.
Luckily enough Team GB has a very strong squad and Ruslan Pantelemanov took my place. Team GB had a much better competition than at the Worlds and breezed through qualifications, before finishing second to Russia in the Team Final. In the All Around competition on the Sunday, Daniel Purvis continued his excellent form to take the Bronze medal with Sam Hunter finishing seventh. Winning medals is what gets us as competitive athletes out of bed every day. My dream is to pick-up an Olympic medal, and to win one in front of a home crowd would be the ultimate achievement. Well done to all of Team GB – a great result!