Fenton Manor Sports Complex was packed with the crowd wowed by a weekend of incredible acrobatic gymnastics action at the 2018 British Championships. Teamwork, choreography, skill, strength and flexibility were shown in every routine across the two-day competition which brought together gymnasts from all over the country to battle for the prestigious titles.
With this event also forming part of the trial process as partnerships aim to make the Great Britain team for the forthcoming World Championships and World Age-Group competitions, the gymnasts rose to the pressure and put in superb displays across the board.
In the senior category the women’s group was the most hotly contested event. The gold medal went to Jennifer Bailey, Kira Dunn and Roxanna Parker from Richmond with a score of 28.150. Adam Upcott and Charlie Taite from Spelthone scored 28.250 for the men’s pair gold with Elin Davies and Tamsin Rippin of West Street taking the women’s pair title.
In the 13-19 category, Finlay Gray and Frazer Windows (Spelthorne) took the combined men’s pair gold and Grace Monchar and Nyree Williams (King Edmund) the women’s pair title. The mixed pair gold medal went to Finlay Cochrane and Kirsten Owen of King Edmund and the women’s group event was won by Acrobay gymnasts Erin Henderson, Sacha Muir and Chloe Rowlands . In the 12-18yrs age group combined finals, the women’s pair event was won by Spelthorne’s Zoe Schubert and Francesca Turner, the women’s group by Sofia Bennett, Lucy Gamble and Ruby Riekstins of Richmond and the mixed pair by Jordan Franklin and Ella Sanz Hanna from Heathrow . The men’s group saw Daniel Axford, Max Crawford and Cameron Patrick Lothian of Spelthorne take gold with Sam Large and Sammi Nassman of Tigers Acrobatic Gymnastics winning the men’s pairs event.
In the 11-16 age group the men’s group dynamic gold went to Spelthorne’s Jack Clegg, Bradley Gold, Jake Tuner and Harry Watson and the men’s pair dynamic title to Archie Collier and Andrew Morris-Hunt (Spelthorne) .The mixed pair balance gold medal was won by Cheri-May Cunningham and Joseph Hill from Wakefield, with Molly Berry, Sumaiya Hines and Trudie Roper from Heathrow taking the women’s group title and Lucy Kavanagh and Eloise Roberts-Day of Oxford talking top spot in the dynamic women’s pair.
Full results can be found here.
All of the routines from the weekend will soon be available to view through GymNet and the BG Score app using your British Gymnastics membership details. We will be posting a selection of routines or photos across social media in the coming days.
Skills, strength and coordination; flying through the air, spinning and twisting, balances and throws timed and choregraphed to perfection. Becoming a GBR acrobatic gymnast requires a huge skill set and on top of this it’s vital in acrobatic gymnastics that you excel working as a team.
We caught up with 2017 European Championship silver medal winner Jennifer Bailey who tells us more about how important the partnerships are in this unique sport.
Jen, you’re with a new partnership since the Europeans. How many partnerships have you been in and what’s it like changing? Yes, I have changed partnership since the European Championships. Roxy (Roxanna Parker) and I have stayed together and have now got a new top, Kira (Dunn). Since 2011, I have had four different partnerships for different lengths of time. I have not found changing partnerships to be that challenging, I find that in order to work well together, you have to ensure you understand how the other people in your partnership like to train. On a personal level this can be really fun and interesting, you get to learn loads about the group of people you train with and it gives you a new energy and aims.
You’ve had a really successful career, what have been the highlights and stand out moments? Throughout my career I have been extremely fortunate to have so many great experiences. Some of the stand out moments have been going to the inaugural European Games in 2015 - getting to be part of a multi-sporting event was so exciting! Also, being invited to perform at the Rio Olympics in 2016 was really fun and a trip that I will never forget. One last stand out point was the dynamic silver medal that we won at the European Championships in 2017.
There have been other gymnasts you’ve worked with retire from the sport, what’s made you carry on? I have continued to train whilst others around me have retired because of the massive range of opportunities it has given me over the years and the continued challenge to improve and work towards the next competition. I also think that because I have changed partners several times in the last few years, training has changed and I have been allowed to work with new partners who are also looking to have new experiences.
What does your training schedule look like and how does that fit around other aspects of your life? I am currently training twenty-four hours a week. Alongside this I am doing some coaching at the gym which I have been doing for the last few years. I am also teaching a gym squad at a local school which is a new venture for me and I am really enjoying the challenge. I also have a very small admin role which I do in the morning 2-3 days a week. These jobs all work around my schedule and everyone I work with has been super supportive whenever I have had conflicts with my training. Somehow in the midst of all of this I do find time to catch up with friends and have a social life!Finally, what are the goals for this year and beyond? This year I am hoping to compete at the World Championships and then I have a place at university in September which I am really looking forward to.
Jennifer is in action this weekend at the 2018 Acrobatic Gymnastics British Championships. Get your tickets.
You can also follow the action from home.
Claudia Fragapane joined British no 1 high-jumper Robbie Grabarz on Valentines Day in Birmingham to celebrate the city’s love of sport ahead of next month’s Gymmastics World Cup and IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham.
Both will be flying the flag for Great Britain in their respective sports in what is set to be a mouth watering March for West Midlands sports fans with the Yonex All England Bandminton Championships completing the triple bill of sporting action at the venue.
Fragapane will be part of the Great Britain team with Ellie Downie, Nile Wilson and James Hall who will take on the best gymnastics nations and gymnasts in the world on March 21st/22nd.
The 20 year-old all-arounder thinks the love from the home crowd will be a crucial factor in six weeks’ time.
“I’m really looking forward to being back here next month and hopefully in front of a full crowd. Performing with the backing of a home crowd makes it ten times better and makes the adrenaline pump that little bit more.”
“I’ve never competed in Birmingham before so I’m really excited and I love being here. The atmosphere is going to be buzzing. A home crowd gives you a massive lift especially if you’re making a mistake or wobbling.
The Gymnastics World Cup event will be part of a busy spring for the Bristol Hawks gymnast with the British Championships and possible Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in the next two months.
But the former Strictly Come Dancing star is clear on her goals for this year; “I just want to beat my previous scores really and that’s all I aim for every year. If I do that then hopefully it will mean I’m up on that podium!”
The Gymnastics World Cup takes place at Arena Birmingham on Wednesday March 21st and Thursday March 22nd. For further information and to buy tickets visit www.gymnasticsworldcup.co.uk.
It was recently revealed that Olympic medallist Nile Wilson, European all-around medallist James Hall, women’s European all-around Champion Ellie Downie and World floor medallist Claudia Fragapane will be flying the flag for Great Britain at the upcoming Gymnastics World Cup in Birmingham, taking place from the 21st – 22nd March. Now the list of international gymnasts who are set to join them has been announced.
In the men’s competition stand outs include, Marcel Nguyen from Germany who took two silvers at the 2012 Olympic Games and Rio Olympic team silver medallist and three time European champion, Nikita Nagornyy from Russia.
In the women’s competition, Rio Olympic team silver medallist and European floor Champion Angelina Melnikova from Russia looks set to be one to watch as well as rising star Margzetta Frazier from the USA.
Don’t miss out on witnessing some of the world’s best gymnasts live in action. Get your tickets here. https://www.gymnasticsworldcup.co.uk/Full list of gymnastsMen James Hall, 22, Great Britain (Pegasus)
Nile Wilson, 22, Great Britain (Leeds)
Lucas De Souza Bitencourt, 23, Brazil
Wei Sun, 22, China
Marcel Nguyen, 30, Germany
Shogo Nonomura, 24, Japan
Nikita Nagornyy, 21, Russia
Petro Pakhniuk, 26, Ukraine
Donothan Bailey, 27, USA
Ellie Downie, 18, Great Britain (Notts)
Claudia Fragapane, 20, Great Britain (Bristol Hawks)
Thais Santos, 16, Brazil
Jieyu Liu, 15, China
Sarah Voss, 19, Germany
Hitomi Hatakeda, 17, Japan
Vera van Pol, 25, Netherlands
Angelina Melnikova, 17, Russia
Margzetta Frazier, 18, USA