Gymnast takes event at Olympic venue by storm

Ellie Downie 2012
Ellie Downie 2012

GYMNAST Ellie Downie, of Hucknall, has shown big sister Becky how it needs to be done at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

For 12-year-old Ellie (pictured) took by storm one of the main pre-Games events at the Olympic venue of the ExCel Centre in London.

Competing in the finals of the UK School Games, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, Ellie swept the board in the gymnastics event with an astonishing haul of SIX GOLD medals!

“It was a brilliant achievement,” beamed mum Helen Downie, who lives with the two girls at Poppy Mews, off Nottingham Road in Hucknall.

Now Helen is hoping Ellie’s success rubs off on 20-year-old Becky, who is already one of the leading gymnasts in the country.

She has won seven British titles, two Commonwealth Games medals and was part of the British team that took an historic silver medal at the 2010 European Championships.

Becky also holds the record for the best-ever individual performance by a British female gymnast at an Olympic Games after finishing 12th in Beijing, China four years ago.

She is now training hard for London. But for a few days last week, all eyes were on little sister Ellie instead.

She was the overall winner in the girls’ all-round disciplines and also came first outright in the bars, floor and vault disciplines. She took joint gold on beam and helped her England team to gold too.

The result delighted Ellie’s coach, Claire Starkey, and maintained a remarkable year of success so far for the 12-year-old. She claimed two gold medals and two silvers at the European Championships and finished fourth at the British Schools Championships against senior gymnasts four to six years older.

Who knows? At the Olympics of 2016 in Brazil, it could be Becky AND Ellie doing their best for Britain!