Blog: World Championships 2009

No 2 in the WORLD – is that really me?

If someone said to me 8 weeks ago when I started my preparations for the World Championships, ‘I think you could get silver in the All Around’ I would have said ‘no not yet, I am happy with a top 10!’ But I did it and I am still pinching myself. No 2 in the WORLD, it is a dream come true.

My preparations going into the World championships were going really well. I got to test some new routines in the second stage of the Champions Trophy in Berlin before hand, which was important as some of the new skills still weren’t consistent enough the attempt at the World’s.

6th October –

Arriving at the training facility in London, I started practicing on the equipment that wewould be using in the finals. We trained daily in the David Beckham Academy; each day more and more gymnasts arrived from the 71 countries taking part in the championships. By Saturday every one of the 406 athletes had arrived.

13th October –

Qualifications day is always more difficult than the finals, a poor show in qualifications would mean an early exit from the championships. Unfortunately things didn’t quite to go plan. I was in the first of three subdivisions and on my second apparatus, the Pommel Horse, I slipped at the very end of my routine and ended my chances of making the final; my only real chance of a medal. Disappointed but undeterred, I battled on and put in a solid All Around display that would see me make the All Around final across all six apparatus, a top 10 finish in the final was now my aim.”

15th October –

The top 24 gymnasts from qualifications would now battle it out for the coveted All Around title. I was starting on floor and was really nervous; the noise from the crowd was deafening. Full of adrenalin I put in an uneasy routine that saw me step out of the floor area on two occasions; a costly mistake. I moved onto the Pommel Horse and this time my routine was perfect; the highest score of the day on Pommel. Rings are not my strongest piece but despite my nerves my routine was faultless as I moved onto the Vault with yet another solid performance. After four apparatus I was now sitting in third place and I had a real chance of a medal. It was so important that I performed well on the Parallel Bars

Thankfully, I put in a near perfect routine that saw me move into second place with only one apparatus to go; the High Bar. The crowd were going mad. At this point I had to stay calm and I said to myself “come on, just one more piece.”

The next thing I heard was the commentator calling my name and the crowds were going mental. I stepped up and performed a great routine. The moment I landed I just knew I had medalled and at that point my dream had become a reality. I can’t describe how I was feeling at that very moment, it was just so surreal.

On that day, I became the first ever British gymnast to medal in the World Championships All Around competition.

I would like to thank my friends, family and everyone at Opus Energy for your continued support; I could not have achieved this result without your backing.

Thanks, Dan