Ellie Black, who led Canada to the team gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Friday, picked up her second gold of the week with her all-around win today.
Despite a fall on beam, Black was able to put up strong performances elsewhere to hold onto the top spot by nearly half a point thanks to great work elsewhere, including the top scores on vault and floor.
Black got started with a solid handspring front layout full on vault, picking up a 14.4 despite some form issues thanks to the big air and solid landing. She had no major mistakes on bars today, catching her Maloney to Hindorff without a problem before also hitting her Shang, piked Jaeger, Pak, van Leeuwen, and stuck toe front half, and though she missed her foot on her punch front tuck on beam, she fought back nicely with a solid layout series and a stuck double pike with her chest just a bit low.
Despite the fall, Black continued to hold her lead going into the final rotation, and so the title was really hers to lose on floor. But Black was at her best here, opening with a front full through to double pike with just a small hop back before nailing her clean front double full to stuck front tuck and then a beautiful double full to finish, and there was no question when she ended that routine that it would be a matter of minutes before another gold was around her neck.
In winning the title, Black defeated host country favorite Georgia Godwin, who fought back from falls in prelims to put up a 53.800 to win the silver medal after an excellent performance, finishing in the top four on every event while posting the top score on bars to prove herself a formidable competitor as she hopes to continue to lead Australia going forward this quad.
Godwin’s first three events went super smoothly, with a bounce back on her tsuk full, her bars routine looking excellent — especially that opening hop change to Weiler to Weiler half to Maloney to Pak to toe-on to van Leeuwen — and a solid beam set, with her switch ring the only issue in terms of form and a bobble on the landing, but overall it was an excellent routine. On floor, she nailed her opening double layout and the subsequent front full to front full, but her double tuck got a bit sketchy with a big hop on the landing, her leg flying up behind her, though she managed to hold on without a fall, and finished with a good double pike.
The young English gymnast Alice Kinsella managed to edge out Georgia-Rose Brown for bronze, finishing just a tenth and a half ahead of the Australian, her DTY on vault giving her the boost she needed.
I was happy to see Kinsella once again hit four-for-four, showing improvements on her DTY (though the landing was still a bit low) in addition to looking almost error-free throughout the rest of her meet, especially considering she had a majorly tweaked ankle in warm-ups before coming in. Her bars were solid, she had only a couple of wobbles on beam before hitting her 2½, and on floor, she was definitely favoring her ankle on some of her landings, but she looked good nonetheless, especially on her opening 2½ and also on her front tuck to double full.
Brown had an excellent day, looking especially strong on bars, where she performed a lovely toe full to Chow to Pak, Maloney to Gienger, and a double front, a bit cowboyed with a hop. Her FTY was clean, also with a hop, and on beam and floor, pretty much everything went well, with her tumbling on floor much stronger than it was on the first night of competition, though her difficulty really was what kept her from the podium. Even so, she made up so much ground despite being at that disadvantage.
Unfortunately, Kelly Simm had a fall on beam to miss the podium, finishing fifth with a 52.600. This was Simm’s first major mistake in competition all season, so it was a shame to see it happen here when it counted for an individual medal, but she at least got her job done in the team competition to lead England to silver less than 24 hours earlier.
Simm opened her meet with a solid Lopez on vault, and she put up one of the top bars performances, featuring a hop change to toe front half to toe full to Chow to Pak before also hitting her Maloney to clear hip to Ray, Ricna, and double layout with a small hop back, an excellent set that earned a 13.650.
Her beam fall came after some bobbles and a lack of control on her candle mount, as she missed the layout series, and she hopped back on her short double tuck dismount as well, bringing her E score down quite a bit. Though she came back nicely on floor, with solid tumbling on her double layout, tucked full-in, 1½ to double tuck, and front full to stag, she wasn’t quite able to make up for the earlier mistakes, leaving her about a half point from the podium.
The Welsh girls Latalia Bevan and Maisie Methuen placed sixth and seventh, respectively, sharing a score of 52.550, though Bevan won the tie-breaker with a higher two-event score (the two were actually still tied using three events, so the judges had to double tie-break for the pair).
Both gymnasts were pretty flawless today, and show so much value both for Wales and for Great Britain going forward this quad. Bevan opened her day with a nearly stuck FTY, followed up with a clean bars set and some wobbles on beam, though most of her skills — especially her switch leap to ring leap to double spin — were lovely, and then her floor was breathtaking and magnificent, and I hope she gets a medal there later this week because not only was her tumbling superb, but her performance is hands-down the best in this field.
Methuen also opened with excellent work on vault, performing a super clean handspring front pike half with just a small hop on the landing before tackling a nice bars set with only a couple of minor form breaks, the best beam routine of the field by far (and as with Bevan on floor, I hope we see Methuen pick up a medal on this event), and she finished with another great Welsh floor set with strong tumbling and a beautiful performance. Welsh choreographers deserve a prize!
Rounding out the top eight was Isabela Onyshko of Canada with a 51.900 after falling on beam. Otherwise, I think she would’ve remained off the podium due to form issues here and there, like some leg separation on the entry into her FTY vault, a bunch of leg form errors on nearly every skill on bars (though she did a great job hitting all of her difficult elements and connections), and some more landing and minor form issues on floor. On beam, the fall came on her split jump full, but even without the fall it was a tough routine after she landed the tuck full on one leg and wobbled elsewhere in addition to missing a connection, though the Y turn to full pirouette was great, as was the switch leap to side aerial.
As for the rest of the field, there were some falls from the stronger ones I thought could’ve challenged on a good day, like Tan Ing Yueh, who missed her bail twice on bars after arching over twice and then also fell on her acro series on beam, but the rest of her performance on that event was magnificent, with a great tour jeté half, split leap to side somi, lovely double spin, full Y turn, and stuck gainer layout.
Tan Ing ended up 11th with a 47.400 after nice work on vault and floor, and just ahead of her were the Scottish gymnasts, Cara Kennedy in ninth with a 49.150 and Shannon Archer in tenth with a 48.850, both getting through excellent days of competition with only minor mistakes, with Kennedy looking especially fantastic on floor while Archer stood out with her powerful vault and floor.
In 12th was Farah Ann Abdul Hadi of Malaysia, who crashed her double layout dismount after an otherwise great bars set, and she fought through some wobbles on beam and form issues on floor to earn some lower than usual E scores, posting a 46.875.
Behind her, we had Stella Ashcroft of New Zealand in 13th with a 46.050 on what was a great day for her, with some wobbles on beam her only issues; Aruna Budda Reddy of India was 14th with a 44.400 after falling twice on beam, though she was otherwise solid and looked fab on vault and floor (her floor score would improve SO much with more attention to her leaps); Nicole Burns from Isle of Man was 15th with a 44.300 after an excellent day aside from a fall on her vault; Pranati Das of India was 16th with a 43.900, putting up hit routines everywhere but beam, where she fell on her punch front tuck after an otherwise excellent set featuring a solid punch front pike and layout series; and the Jersey gymnasts Bonita Shurmer and Rachelle Flambard finished 17th and 18th, respectively, with scores of 43.550 and 42.450, both putting up very strong work. Their difficulty was far too low for them to challenge, but they seemed to be having a blast at the arena, especially Flambard, who came in as a reserve at the last minute and had lots of fun celebrations after hitting her routines.
The women compete again Sunday in the vault and bars finals, and then finish the Commonwealth Games on Monday with the beam and floor finals.
Article by Lauren Hopkins
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