Downie Sweeps Friendly in Netherlands

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It was an awesome weekend for the young Ellie Downie of Great Britain, as she captured the all-around and all four event titles at a friendly meet in the Netherlands.

Downie’s scores of 14.85 on vault, 14.7 on bars, 14.2 on beam, and 14.0 on floor were the best on each, combining to help her reach a 57.75 all-around score, the highest in her career. Her scores also helped the British women defeat the Dutch for the team gold, which they did easily with a 221.85 to the Netherlands’ 213.05.

Amy Tinkler, who actually tied Downie on floor to share the top honor, was the silver all-around medalist with a 56.25 after also putting up a solid DTY for a 14.7 and a dependable beam routine for a 13.6. Their teammate Kelly Simm placed third with a 53.7 after some struggles on beam and floor, but she absolutely nailed her bar routine for a 14.45, second behind Downie. Ruby Harrold rounded out the British all-around domination with a 53.55. She was a bit rough around the edges, but some polish could make her very competitive at worlds later this month.

Also competing for Great Britain were Charlie Fellows in 11th all-around with a 50.7, Rebecca Tunney competing everything but bars though not putting up high scores anywhere, Becky Downie on bars and beam (her 14.4 on bars was the third-best of the day), and Claudia Fragapane, also on bars and beam, though she fell on both (she’s still healing from an injury that limits her on the power events).

The Dutch women had a bit of a disastrous meet in comparison, with Lieke Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottir tying for fifth place in the all-around after each scoring a 53.25. Wevers had a fall on beam and wasn’t quite at her best on bars, though did serviceable work on her other two, while Thorsdottir had a couple of falls on bars, though hit a 13.8 on beam for the second-best score of the day there.

Tisha Volleman placed seventh with a 52.8 after struggling on beam but reaching the third-best score of 13.7 on vault, Vera van Pol was eighth with a 51.8 after falling on beam, Lisa Top was ninth with a 50.9 after falls on bars and beam, Maartje Ruikes was tenth with a 50.8 after falls on bars and floor, and Noel van Klaveren was 12th with a 49.45 after falls on bars and beam.

The Netherlands were all about falling, with no expected member of the worlds team exempt from this rule. Mara Titarsolej, still struggling to return from an injury, did compete fall-free on bars, her one event for the day, but she was there mainly with an exhibition routine not contributing to the team score.

While some core members of the team seem obvious, there are definitely still some tricky lineup decisions to be made, mostly for the Dutch when considering whether to bring an injured Noel van Klaveren over a less experienced first-year senior. But as they say in theater, a bad dress rehearsal means a good opening night, so let’s hope the same can be true for these teams.

It’s clear overall both teams have some ground to cover in the next several weeks, as Great Britain will hope to once again get the chance to break into the Big Four while the Dutch women are aiming to qualify a full team to the Olympic Games by making the top eight.

Full results are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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