Great Britain’s women gymnasts admitted they had to pinch themselves after securing a first-ever World Gymnastics Championships team bronze medal.
Heading into the final at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, Britain had qualified in third,but were well aware that,in the history of the competition, they had never gone on to claim a medal, with their best finish being a fifth place in Tokyo four years ago.
Things made for a difficult start as Ellie Downie, who was the second GB gymnast in action, had an early fall on the bar and scored just 13.033.
But sister Becky Downie was next up and started the comeback, scoring 14.833 which put Britain fourth after the first rotation.
The Downie sisters – along with Ruby Harrold, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane – kept that form going and on the final rotation vaulted their way to a bronze medal, with America storming to gold and China taking silver.
“This week has been a really crazy week,” Becky said. “After qualifications, I had quite a big disappointment but we knew we had the potential to come out fighting.
“For me I had to change my bar routine a bit rapidly and I was a bit nervous going up, especially after Ellie.
“But I just had to go because in a team final anything can happen and we just had to keep fighting and every single point counts.
“After that first mistake, the girls did amazing and I couldn’t have asked for any more and I’m so, so pleased.”
While this concludes Becky’s World Gymnastics Championships, Ellie still has the vault and floor finals to look forward to.
After showing resolve to bounce back, Ellie is looking forward to the rest of the week.
“I was really nervous going into bars. It’s been up and down this week for me,” Ellie said.
“I just had that mistake and I knew after qualifications that I had that mistake and I knew it wouldn’t go away, so I had to pull myself together and I tried to do the best I could for the team and I’m in absolute shock, I can’t believe it.”
It was a perfect birthday for Tinkler as she celebrated turning 16 on Tuesday by securing Great Britain the bronze medal with the team’s final vault.
“I’m speechless to be honest,” Tinkler said. “I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe it.
“It’s an amazing feeling. We’ve put in so much hard work and I’m just so proud of all the girls for coming through that final.
“I can’t believe we’ve got a bronze medal around our necks, and this was a very special way to mark my birthday. I definitely won’t be forgetting it in a hurry!
“I think knowing that we had our strongest events coming up at the end definitely helped us out. I just tried to stay relaxed and support the team through the first two rotations.
“I love to perform on the floor so starting off on that for my first piece was nice, and my vault was my first ever score of 15, so to land that like I did was incredible.”
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