Guildford Spectrum hosted the highly anticipated British Championships on the weekend of 27/28th November. With having a gap year in 2020 the expectations were high, and more than 150 girls spread across three levels – Espoir, Junior and Senior – were eager to show off what they had been working on over the last year.
It had been a long while since Woking Gymnastics Club last fielded any female gymnasts at this prestigious event and all eyes were on our very own Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen competing in the Espoir section.
A steady start on Bars set the tone for the day, with a clean routine for Izzie and a minor mistake from Annabella. Next up was beam: a piece which tends to either make or break the competition. Unfortunately, Beam did not turn out the way Annabella was hoping for, but she showed her classy work and posted one of the highest start scores across the whole competition. Izzie managed to show her upgraded routine with poise and style, only a minor mistake on her acrobatic series prevented her from being up near the top of rankings. Both girls re-grouped on Floor, where Izzie displayed a great mixture of power and elegance to wow the judges, where she earned the 6th highest execution score on Floor. Solid Vaults from both Izzie and Annabella, saw them finishing with a total of 41.900 point for Izzie and 38.400 for Annabella.
A great display from the girls after a very challenging year!
Well done Team Woking and massive thank you to all the gymnasts and parents who came to support us!
Eight of our men’s artistic squad gymnasts were selected to represent the South East region at The National Finals in Telford.
The event began on Friday with Oscar Mitchell, Fionn Kelly and Declan Freeman competing in their first ever external competition. Oscar enjoyed a clean competition in the Club Level 3 category concluding with a particularly impressive 9.900 score on the vault. He scored 60.200 overall - enough for 27th place.
In the Club Level 1 competition, Fionn Kelly performed a beautiful PPP routine scoring 9.700: the third highest score of the competition. His all-around total of 62.850 put him in thirteenth place. Woking’s top performer for the day was Declan. He produced seven clean routines and his total of 63.700 earnt him the seventh place spot. As a result, Declan - along with his coach Steve - have been invited to attend the National Club Reward Camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Here, they will get to use the same facilities as our Olympic team and train with the GB coaches - a fantastic reward for all their hard work.
Saturday morning began with the Club Level 4 competition. After a two year break from competition, Jay Coote made a shaky start on his least favored piece of apparatus – the PPP. With each apparatus he grew in confidence and finished his competition with a brilliant 9.700 score on the H-Bar. His total of 56.600 (28th) helped the South East Team to a Bronze medal.
Ben Porter was competing in the Elite Level 4 competition. Despite early errors on the P-Bars, Ben produced excellent routines. He was judged best in four out of the seven apparatus, including a perfect 10.000 on the vault! He finished the competition in second place (63.000), just 0.04 behind the national champion.
Oliver Porter was one of only five gymnasts able to compete in the Elite Level 6 competition. The routines at this level are tough and this was reflected in the performance of the gymnasts. That said, Oli can be pleased that he landed his vault for the first time ever and scored a great 9.750 on PPP. He took home the bronze medal in the all-around competition. Both Oli and Ben have been invited to the National Squad testing day to try and retain their spots in GB squad.
The competition concluded on Sunday with the Elite Level 1 category. Mac Griffiths and Xavier Barau-Wilding were understandably nervous about competing in their first competition. They were part of the South East Team that finished just outside the medals in fourth place. Individually, they finished 28th and 32nd respectively.
It was great to be back in competition after such a long break. Well done to all the gymnasts and coaches for all your efforts.
Full results can be found on the BG website.