A look at the 2015 British WAG National Squad Teams

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It’s January which generally means a lot of gymnastics nations announce their National Teams. Great Britain was one of the first to release their list of National Squads on December 19th. GB have a whole flurry of talent coming up through the ranks. Check out this class of 2020 video featuring gymnasts that we have to look forward to over the coming years as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020. The gymnasts are split into 4 different Squads (National, Rio 2016, Development and Junior Europeans), from January to May 2015, with some gymnasts featuring on more than one squad. Let’s take a closer look at who was listed.

National Squad

  • Phoebe Turner
  • Raer Theaker
  • Abigail Solari
  • Angel Romaeo
  • April Maslen
  • Aasha- Ellyce Kimpton
  • Rhyannon Jones
  • Georgina Hockehull
  • Teal Grindle
  • Georgia – Mae Fenton
  • Georgina Clements
  • Catherine Lyons
  • Ellie Downie
  • Becky Downie
  • Claudia Fragapane
  • Tyesha Mattis
  • Ruby Harrold
  • Gabby Jupp
  • Amy Tinkler
  • Rebecca Tunney

Noticeably missing from the National and Rio 2016 Squad is Beijing 2008 and London 2012 gymnast Hannah Whelan who has been a prominent figure in GBR WAG in recent times.  Hannah has many great accolades and triumphs to her name including two Olympic appearances, three European Championships medals, 17 individual British Championships medals and titles as well as earning two medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (a to name just a few!).  As yet there has been no official announcement made in regards to Whelan’s future. Speculation is that she has retired, although not completely from the sport as it is known that she has been training to become a coach from recent postings on Facebook and Instagram. Recently an article was published by the Liverpool Echo which quotes Head Coach Claire Duffy as saying: “We have three athletes that are on target for Rio and others working towards Tokyo”. The three gymnasts listed further on are Rebecca Tunney, Charlie Fellows and Jade Stedford.

If Hannah has indeed retired, it’s likely that an announcement may come around the time of the upcoming British Championships on March 28th, which coincidentally is being held in the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

In regards to Rebecca Tunney, she was scheduled to compete at the 2014 Glasgow World Cup in December but was replaced. Tunney underwent surgery on her elbow last year and sat out the 2014 Commonwealth Games last competing earlier in the year when she became the British AA Champion and was a member of the British team who placed second at the European Championships. While the status of her injury and fitness is unknown, it is known that was at the most recent senior squad training in Lilleshall last weekend.

Also listed to the National Team are some names which might not be familiar to all. Phoebe Turner, 14, of the Academy boasts key achievements such as gold on at the 2013 UK School Games and silver medals on vault at both the 2013 English and British Championships (Espoir) as well as representing GB twice last year at internationals. Abigail Solari, 14, of The Academy became the 2013 Espoir English Vault Champion. Aasha Kimpton of Sapphire turned heads early on in her career, circa 2010 when she was performing a layout Geinger on bars at the age of 11. April Maslen, The Academy, ranked 4th AA at the 2014 British Junior Championships, while Georgina Clements of Park Wrekin ranked 7th AA at the same competition.

Rio Squad

  • Ellie Downie
  • Becky Downie
  • Claudia Fragapane
  • Kelly Simm
  • Ruby Harrold
  • Tyesha Mattis
  • Gabby Jupp
  • Charlie Fellows
  • Catherine Lyons
  • Amy Tinkler
  • Rebecca Tunney

The Rio 2016 squad is full of strong players, looking at it, if these girls all stay healthy and continue to upgrade their skills as they have been doing, Great Britain will be in a very difficult position when it comes to selecting their team for the 2016 Olympic Games. A similar to situation which has often been faced by the USA. Only 5 gymnasts can be named to the team, leaving another 5 talented girls off the team (alternates will be chosen from these girls). Of course it’s far too early to predict who could be on the team with over 500 days still to go until Rio 2016.

2015 Junior Europeans Squad

  • Maisie Meuthen
  • Alice Kinsella
  • Amelia Montague
  • Lucy Stanhope
  • Taeja James
  • Megan Parker
  • Laura Beasley
  • Laura Kaletha

Meuthen is the current Espoir Champion (12-13 years old). She finished ahead of Lucy Stanhope and Alice Kinsella.  These girls also picked up medals in the Individual apparatus competition with Laura Kaletha sharing in the medals on floor taking gold. Taeja James shone through on bars taking gold. Amelia Montague from Tolworth Gymnastics has caught the eye of many gymnastics fans  for her beautiful work on floor. Laura Beasley of Park Wreakin ranked 7th AA at the 2014 British Espoir Championships while Megan Parker of City of Birmingham Gym slotted in above in 6th place also taking silver on beam behind Lucy Stanhope.

2015 Development Squad

The gymnasts selected to the 2015 Development Squad were born in 2003,2004 and 2005 – view the full list here.

Note that all lists are subject to change .

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