Blog: the Champions trophy, Stuttgart, final stage

Going into the final round of the Champions Trophy, I was in fourth position on the leaderboard, just three points behind the leader Maxim Devyatoski. I was still in with a real chance of winning. The Porsche Arena was at full capacity with a very excited home crowd as Fabian Hambuechen, the local favourite, was also back in the running after his injury at the World Championships.

Fabian was sitting in second position on the leaderboard and only one point behind Maxim. We all started on the floor routine and I needed a solid performance to put the pressure on both Fabian and Maxim. My first and second tumbles were near perfect but just like at the World Championships I misjudged my approached for the third tumble and stepped out of the floor area. This proved to be a very costly mistake, but I finished the rest of my routine with few errors.

I recieved a harsh score from the judges of 14.60, which even received a grown from the home crowd! Fabian scored 14.75 and Maxim 14.90.

The next routine was the Pommel Horse. Just like the floor routine, I was up before Maxim and Fabian and really needed a good performance at this stage. Unfortunately I caught my fingers on the handle in mid routine which resulted in losing my balance and parting with the Pommel. I scored 14.4; a real blow to my chances of claiming the title for the competition.

The pressure was really on for the Rings, so I took a chance and included an extra skill in my routine to try an increase my score. Unfortunately it didn’t pay off, as I stumbled on my landing, resulting in another costly error. I knew for sure now that my chance of winning the Champions Trophy was over and it was now all about regaining some credibility with strong routines on the Vault, Parallel Bars and the High Bar.

Thankfully, my final three routines were near perfect, but the damage had already been done and I finished joint third on the leaderboard with 17 points. Joe Heggarty from the USA also scored 17 points. After a great competition and a close fight with local hero Fabian Hambuechen, Maxim Devyatoski eventually claimed the Champions title, winning a brand new Mercedes SLK convertible! All I could think at this point was,if I hadn’t missed the first round due to injury, I may have been a lot closer to winning and could have afforded the mistakes in the last round.

But I have had my fair share of successes for 2009 and the Champions Trophy was a great competition. It was the most exciting tournament I have ever been involved in and I can’t wait to compete in 2010!

The Champions Trophy was my final competition in what has been a long season. However 2009 is one year I won’t forgot, what with my historic win at the World Championships. Now I am winding down in preparation for my two week holiday in Florida! Then it’s back to work, to start on some new skills for 2010.

I would like the thank everyone for all your support in what has been a fantastic year.

Dan