My first major international in Antalya, Turkey. Team bronze and European Floor Champion, what an introduction!
Team Final and Apparatus Qualifications.
My role was to go up first and set solid scores on both Pommel and High bar to settle the team to enable the lads to go for high tariff scores. My weakest pieces, but my focus was set. On Floor the objective was to final and get the medal.
The team competition was great, the lads had gelled well and we knew what we wanted… We started on Floor and my routine was solid, a frustrating big step & off the square on my double twist double somersault cost me 0.3, but I posted a 14.1 which counted as highest team score. With the high quality field I knew it would now be close for Floor Final qualification, unnerving.
Next Pommel, I was first up, but I did my job as I’d been asked and my pommel score 12.966 counted to the team score.
I really had wanted to do vault as I had been hitting some great vaults in training and knew I could hit a good score, but with Max pulling out my role changed in the team. Adam Tobin (British All Round Champion) came in alongside Josh Nathan as the other All Rounder with Jake Jarman. Jake and Courtney Tulloch looking for vault finals, I understood the rationale for me not competing on vault - next time... It was great Jake and Harry Hepworth (as a specialist) made finals on Vault.
P-bars the team did its work and Jake into his second Final. Courtney (King on the Rings) did his work and into that final too - brilliant. The final piece High Bar again I was up first and a clean routine settled the team. Jake was last up and did the business and closed it out bringing us home the Team Bronze!
What a competition. A big result for what was a young and inexperienced team, and relief I had qualified in 7th for the floor final on Saturday, but now everything to play for.
European Floor Final
"'If you can see it here and have the courage enough to speak it, it will happen" Connor McGregor = European Champion MMXXIII - the quote turned into reality
I got back in the gym and focused on my landings particularly the double double. My objective now having made final was to push for gold. Back at Lillishall, Paul Hall had asked me if I could win a medal pre team selection and I was in no doubt I could, and had said so.
I had felt good in training out in Antalya, I was composed and knew the job I needed to do.. I was 4th up on floor. I'd tried not to look at the scores as I focused on my own routine. I did see Harry had scored a 14.2 as I cheered him on.
My opening tumble is the triple back, 100’s of repetitions, so confident, but such a big element it is a risk. I landed it well, then on to the double twist double front, landed that. I was taking each skill at a time, next double pike, landed that. The routine was going well - focus -. I finished with the triple twist but slightly off balance and a step, frustrating as a 0.1 deduction… and knew the European and Olympic champion Israel's Artem Dolgopyat was still to go. I knew I had just put out the best routine on the competition floor in the biggest competition of my life. I knew it was good, but a 14.9 was brilliant and knew it would be hard to beat. Arten's score came through 14.666, relief, just one gymnast to go. The score came through and I was European Champion!
The British Championship was a mixed affair... My target was to make finals on each piece, make the podium AA and becoming British Champion on Floor.
Day One, the All Round and qualifications. I started on Parallel Bars, first up and a piece I enjoy and as English Champion was focused, but I made a mistake right at the start of the routine which cost me alongside a big big step on dismount, no final... So next High Bar, a piece I have been working hard, but my first release and catch almost came down on the bar and lost all momentum and off I came... this wasn't a great start. Pressure on as I was next on floor... I started with the Triple Back somersault which I landed well and felt good, a solid 14.150 and qualified in first place... Pommel next, a decent routine, but as I went to dismount hit my leg on the pommel losing momentum which cost me and another final gone... Rings next and a solid and neat routine with a triple back somersault dismount scoring a PB 13.8 making a second final. Vault next, starting with a 2.5 twist, my second vault a double front average score 13.95 making a third final. 8th AA but 3 decent finals to make, not what I had hoped for, but I had some great learnings , I stuck to it and did some good gymnastics including a PB on Rings and top qualifying score on Floor.
Day Two, Apparatus Finals. First was Floor - as I qualified in first place was going to be last up. The line up was full great gymnasts including World Cup Medallist and our Commonwealth Champion. Jake Jarman was up directly before me and posted a huge 14.4, pressure on, but was completely focused and nailed a high level routine, knew it was going to be close with Jake. The result came through 14.550 and I was British Floor Champion... The next two finals I knew were going to be tough as again some big competitors. Rings isn't a piece I'm strong on, but try to be neat and hold my own. A decent routine scoring 13.4 which was down on qualification but that was a PB and I felt I hadn't let myself down in 6th behind some strong Ring workers. The last final for me was the Vault a generally strong piece for me and which I had won Silver at the English. I had 2 decent vaults, averaging 14.375 and pleased to win bronze knowing I have more in the tank for bigger vaults in future.
In March of 2023, I was selected to represent Great Britain at the Series A, World Cup competition in Doha, Qatar. A solid floor routine in qualification placed me in 3rd behind current Olympic champion Israel's Artem Dolgopyat and former World Champion Carlos Yulo from the Philippines.
In the final I replicated the success and came away with a Bronze. What a podium to be stood on to receive my first world medal.
Watch my medal winning routine below!!!
The English Championships was a successful competition, claiming titles on both the Floor and Parallel Bars with two good clean routines. I performed two solid vaults winning silver. Horizontal bar, rings and pommel the main body of routines were good, but my dismounts had errors, but early in the year so not of major concern as they have been going well in training. All around I finished 4th.
Watch my gold medal winning P-bar and floor routines below!!!
A really good competition with Leeds Beckett winning the team competition for the first time. On an individual basis I came 2nd AA, 3rd on floor, 2nd on rings, 2nd on vault and 1st on parallel bars.