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British Championships 2024

M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool – 14th-17th March

The gymnastics community of Great Britain once again gathered in Liverpool for the showpiece event of the national calendar. It’s a big year, and with selections for the upcoming European Championships and Paris Olympics at stake, tensions were high.

The weekend began with Kimberly Ly in the Women’s Apsire competition. It was Kimmie’s first year as an aspire and first ever competition on a podium but with the quality, shear class and poise on display, you’d have been forgiven for believing otherwise. Despite a shaky start on vault, she composed herself to produce superb, clean routines on bars (10.400, 16th) and beam (11.300, 22nd), closing the competition with mixture of grace and power to wow the judges on floor (10.950, 25th). Kimmie’s fantastic effort was rewarded with a total of 43.40 points and 25th place All-Around.

Thursday afternoon brought the MAG U16 competition. Gymnasts had to qualify for this event from the recent home nations competitions, and with a team of Ben Porter, Rio Chandiram, Jay Coote and Max Veo-Creek, Woking had the largest team of athletes present. Max finished 31st AA (62.750) with his best performance coming on the pommel horse (10.60, 16th) and vault (12.15, 17th). Rio Chandiram (64.350, 25th AA) also performed well on pommels, recovering from a small mistake and finishing his routine strongly to score 11.70 and place 5th on the event. Ben Porter was the top performer in the AA competition. Despite a niggle in his hip and falls on parallel bars and pommels, Ben maintained a positive attitude and finished just outside the medals in 4th place AA (71.300). He narrowly missed out on medals on floor (12.85, 6th), rings (12.10, 5th) and H-bar (11.55, 5th). Jay Coote (62.55, 32nd) didn’t have his best day in the AA competition, however he was rewarded for his high difficulty vaulting as he landed both his kasamatsu and kasamatsu with a full twist to match his position from the English championships and add another silver medal to his collection.

With no U14 gymnasts competing on the Friday the next competition began early Saturday morning with the U18 event. The Woking duo of Oliver Porter and Luke Everett had a difficult start to their challenge on the pommels with both of them falling during their routines. Both bounced back well and Oli’s score of 12.9 on the rings was the 4th highest of the day, qualifying him for Sunday’s event final. Luke grew into the competition finishing 25th AA (64.00). He should be proud of his h-bar routine, cleanly competing both his tkatchev and dismount. Oli finished 14th AA (69.15), placing 10th on h-bar (11.60) making him a reserve for the final.

Josh Porter was competing in the senior competition for the first time. With no expectations he went for his new, high-risk routines. Success was limited, as he placed 24th AA (69.85). Josh did finish the competition strong on H-bar, catching both his release elements and sticking his dismount with aplomb, to post the 3rd highest execution score of the day (12.70).

The final day of competition saw Oli compete once again, as reserve he warmed up for the H-bar final but was not able to compete. He did however compete in the rings final; his routine was clean and tidy with just a small step on dismount. Agonisingly Oli finished in 4th place (12.60), missing out on a medal by just 0.1 and only 0.2 behind first place. He will however have gained vital experience after competing in an event final in front of a packed arena.

Well done to all gymnasts and coaches for their performances over the long weekend.  

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