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Gymnastics - 07. April 2011.

2011 Artistic Gymnastics European Championships Women's qualification

Day one of the 2011 European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Berlin saw the women’s qualification competition.

Beth Tweddle safely navigated her way through to make the bars and floor final and put herself in contention to take both titles as she has done at the past two Europeans.

Beth scored 15.550 on bars despite a tricky start to her routine, and 13.850 on floor where she admitted to be struggling with injury.

Hannah Whelan made the beam final scoring 14.225 (8th) and will compete in  Fridays all-around final 54.400 (12th) along with Danusia Francis 53.250 (17th).

Reports

Beth Tweddle and Hannah Whelan waited all day for the chance to compete as they entered the arena in the final subdivision of the day, knowing exactly what they needed to do to achieve their goals.

Hannah began on vault and got off to a very solid start scoring 13.600. Both girls then moved on to bars; Hannah up first with 13.800 followed by World champion Beth with the crowd transfixed, all eager to see her latest routine. She started off jittery on the first handstand but soon regained her composure to wow the crowd with the most difficult routine of the day, with small errors limiting her to a score of 15.550 - second in qualification with more to prove in the final.

Beam came next for Hannah, who with plenty of past experience of major events looked supremely composed, one slight wobble midway through her routine the only blip on her way to 14.225 and the beam final.

Ending on floor, Hannah sat her second tumble scoring 12.775 to give her an all-around total of 54.400 guiding her comfortably into Friday’s final. Beth was last up and performed solidly if not spectacularly, her score of 13.850 taking her to 8th place in what she described as a ‘bonus’ having revealed injury concerns just prior to competing.

Beth Tweddle “To be honest making the floor final is just a bonus. Up until this morning I was unsure whether I was even going to compete on floor due to some niggling injuries that we have been working on controlling. I am happy now that I went out there and a few more days work before the final should mean I will be in better shape to compete. As for bars, I'm really happy to have shown everyone my new routine and to stick all my connections, there’s room for improvement still and I’m excited now about the final.”

Hannah Whelan: “There’s improvements I can make so will be doing my best to produce an even better result in the all-around final, and as for beam I am really happy to have made the final, despite a bit of a wobble and a nervy wait! Competing today I felt pretty relaxed and I think having the experience of competing in a few majors is definitely improving my performance!”

A whole eight hours beforehand, Jennifer Pinches and Danusia Francis started in the very first subdivision of the day and on beam, a notoriously tricky apparatus to begin with.

Jenni suffered from a few nervy wobbles but stayed on and dismounted well to score 13.225, with Danusia following up with a confident performance on one of her favourite pieces to score 13.900.

Moving on to the floor, both girls were enthusiastically cheered by the knowledgeable crowd for their dance and choreography but struggled with the tumbling, Danusia scoring 12.875 and Jenni 12.800.  The girls then produced solid vaults, Jenni 13.400 and Danusia 13.525 to leave the bars where Jenni scored 13.275 and Danusia produced a safe routine to score 12.950, resulting in a 53.250 all-around for Danusia and 52.700 for Jenni.

The results left the girls with a long wait to see if they made the all-around or event finals.

Jenni Pinches:  "It wasn’t the best competition and it wasn’t the worst, I'm a bit disappointed with floor but pleased with beam after falling in warm up! I really enjoyed being out there with Danusia, not a great competition technically but still a lot of fun!"


Danusia Francis: “ I started of really nervous as we were up on beam first but once Jenni went clear that helped me to relax a bit. The other pieces went well although I maybe played it a bit too safe on bars. The atmosphere was great and we could hear the British fans cheering for us, especially Beth and Hannah when we were on bars.”
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