British Gymnastics will announce their Artistic Men’s and Women’s Olympic Teams tomorrow afternoon, 4th July, at 1pm - live – on BGTV. Both teams will be difficult to predict. Also announced at this time will be an indvidual female trampoline gymnast, an individual rhythmic gymnast and a rhythmic group.
On the Women’s side, three locks are for sure – Beth Tweddle, Hannah Whelan and Rebecca Tunney. The City of Liverpool team mates are sure to make up the majority of the five woman team. Tweddle’s bars alone will carry the team up through the rankings and is GB’s best female chance at an Event finals and for a medal. Hannah Whelan – a European double bronze medallist on Beam and Floor - will be likely to make the All Around final and possibly a beam final whilst first year senior, Rebecca Tunney, the current British All Around Champion,could possibly find herself in the Floor event finals. Her first major senior competition was at European’s this year where she qualified through to the floor finals and placed 5th.
The other spots are up for grabs and in my opinion between Imogen Cairns, Niamh Rippin and Jennifer Pinches. Rippin has upped her game a lot during GB’s trials, showing her powerful tumbling and skill on Vault since coming back from injury. Ruby Harrold is also a possibility due to her high bar scores but does she have the experience that the the other options have under their belts? Harrold, like Tunney had her international senior debut at Europeans this year, finding herself in the Uneven Bars final, where she placed 7th. Becky Downie is also a possibility but with taking a long time time to recover from injury, is she worth the risk? All the same, she has a wealth of experience and holds great potential in terms of start values. Danusia Francis can add to the team score by means of her beam and floor. In terms of vault where GB lack sheer talent compared to other countries, Rippin, Cairns and Downie all performed DTY’s in early June. Also in the mix are Jocelyn Hunt and Nicole Hibbert, whilst not favorites they cannot be counted out.
The Men on the other hand have got it very tough, guaranteed a spot is Daniel Purvis who is likely to qualify through to the All Around finals, possibly a floor final also. The other spots however are very much up for grabs with the Men’s side having huge depth and so many gymnasts deserving of a place. Louis Smith is one of their best medal hopes in an Event Finals, but is he work taking to London for just one apparatus? Sure he can compete on Rings and High Bar but Pommel is his specialty where he soars above his team mates. The gold medal winning European team of Purvis, Smith, Max Whitlock, Ruslan Panteleymonov and Kristian Thomas were solid with only minor faults during competition. Many of these gymnasts have the potential to make Event finals.
Also in the mix are Sam Oldham and Dan Keatings who were laid off with injuries for some of this year, have shown a good return to form in the last few competitions. As much as I love Dan, he has been quite inconsistent since returning from injury and not hitting routines as well as previous years. The 2012 European team soared to gold in Montpellier, could it be said that they can do without Keatings and Oldham?
It’s difficult to predict teams for a country who has such great depth, there are so many options for teams. Who would be on your GB teams? Leave a comment below.
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