Ecstatic Ellie Downie enjoys dream debut as a senior in British Gymnastics Championships

MIXED FORTUNES at the British Gymnastics Championships for sisters Becky and Ellie Downie.
MIXED FORTUNES at the British Gymnastics Championships for sisters Becky and Ellie Downie.

Hucknall gymnast Ellie Downie enjoyed a dream debut on her first appearance as a senior at the British Championships.

For the 15-year-old returned home with three medals, including a magnificent bronze from the all-around women’s event in Liverpool last weekend.

However, it was not such good news for her illustrious elder sister, Becky (23), who was unable to continue her incredible run of success in 2014 when she landed a combined haul of three gold medals and a silver at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Becky had prepared well, winning the uneven bars title at the English Championships at Loughborough in mid-March. And she also topped the bars placings in the all-around championship at Liverpool.

But injury concerns forced her to pull out of her dismount on the beam, and she took no further part in the event.

“Rough weekend, but at least I have walked away healthy,” Becky tweeted. “I am proud of everyone who competed, especially Ellie, who is always a superstar to me.”

A true superstar Ellie was in following up her own success in last year’s Europeans when, as a junior, she became the first British female to bag a medal (bronze) in the all-around, as well as taking an individual gold.

In Liverpool, she finished second in the vault, third in the bars and beam and eighth in the floor to accumulate enough points to finish third in the all-around, behind only newly-crowned South Durham-based champion Amy Tinkler, another 15-year-old debutant, and quadruple Commonwealth champion Claudia Fragapane, of Cardiff.

Ellie then turned her attentions to the apparatus finals, grabbing silver medals in the vault, where she was pipped by Fragapane, and bars, where she was runner-up to Tyesha Mattis, of East London. She also finished sixth in the beam.

“I am so chuffed,” she tweeted.

“Two silvers, a bronze and even a new personal best on the bars! I couldn’t be happier with the weekend.”

The Downie sisters, whose family home is off Nottingham Road, Hucknall, are members of the Notts Gymnastics Academy, based at Rushcliffe, where they are coached by Claire Starkey.

The next big event on the gymnastics calendar is the European Championships at Montpellier in France, which start on Monday 13th April.

The World Championships take place in Glasgow between 23rd October and 1st November.