On Thursday the 29th of November I flew to Germany to take part in the very prestigious Stuttgart World Cup Team Gymnastics Championships and, in the true spirit of Movember, my ‘tash was still intact until the morning of the 1st December. Here’s the proof – a photo of me standing next to Ali the GB physio who was also sporting a nice Movember ‘tash:
The competition was held over two days, with the qualifications on Friday 30th November so – for the first time – ever I found myself competing at an international competition against teams from Japan, Russia, Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Brazil with a MOUSTACHE!! After a nervous start we managed to pull it back to qualify in 3rd place behind Japan and Brazil, with Russia claiming the last spot for the final ahead of the host nation Germany.
In the final we were drawn to start on the Floor with Japan, while Russia and Brazil started on Pommel. Again, we got off to a nervous start and after 3 apparatus (Floor, Pommel and Rings) we found ourselves trailing the rest of the pack by 3.3 marks. Next up was the Vault and, with the pressure building, we managed to drag ourselves back into contention and into 3rd place, just ahead of Brazil by 0.3 tenths, who appeared to crumble under the pressure. After the Vaults was our penultimate apparatus: Pbars. With two very solid scores we had found some form that propelled us into 2nd place behind Japan, but just ahead of Russia by a minuscule 0.067 tenths. Going into the final apparatus we always knew that it was going to be difficult to hold onto such a slender lead, especially with Denis Ablyazin – the Olympic Floor bronze medallist – competing on Floor for Russia against our High Bar. Again we managed to post two very solid scores of 14.700 and 14.800, but unfortunately for us Denis was also on form and posted a massive 15.336, helping Russia claim back the Silver medal by 0.365 tenths.
All in all, and although we had a couple of nervous errors at the start, we also showed some real team spirit and picked ourselves up with some solid scores that saw us claim Bronze in our first Team competition since the Olympics! • Japan – Gold
• Russia – Silver
• GB – Bronze
That should be my final competition for 2012 so from now until the New Year I will be back in Huntingdon practising some new skills and routines.