Gymnasts set the bar high at championships

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Junior women and men’s under 14s ready to compete. Pic © Chloe Tomkins JMU Journalism

The country’s best gymnasts arrived at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena for the annual British Championships this weekend.

Proceedings kicked off on Thursday with the women’s 12-13 all-around event and the men’s under 12’s all-around and apparatus competitions.

The 2019 championships have now concluded, with Sunday’s disciplines being the biggest crowd pleasers.

It was no surprise that five-time Olympic medallist, Max Whitlock MBE from South Essex, topped the table at the pommel final, scoring 15.000 to take the title. Adam Steele picked up his second medal of the day, scoring 13.750 for silver, with James Hall scoring an impressive 13.075 after a fall but recovering well for bronze.

Many schools and clubs came out to support friends competing in the junior women’s all-around and the men’s under 14 all-around and apparatus finals. However, most spectators had just come to enjoy the events.

Josie Hardman, 19, from Liverpool told JMU Journalism: “I’m not here to support anyone, I’m not even a big fan of gymnastics. My friends and me just saw that it was coming to Liverpool and thought it would be fun to watch a sport we wouldn’t normally watch.

“I’ve been really impressed with how good everyone is, especially the younger ones.”

Twitter: Chloe Tomkins

James Hall and Ellie Downie were crowned the new senior men’s and women’s all-around British champions.

Having had injury issues since her historic European victory in 2017, Ellie returned to the all-around competition and made a real statement ahead of the European Championships next month scoring 56.000.

She said: “I couldn’t be happier. I started on the bars and my training on bars has not been the best this week so I was pretty nervous but I managed to get through it. After that I relaxed and I let my hard work take over.”

The 2019 European Championships take place in Szczecin, Poland, from the April 10th-14th.

Twitter: Chloe Tomkins