Hucknall gymnastics ace Ellie makes history with Euro medals haul

Olympic hopeful Ellie Downie
Olympic hopeful Ellie Downie

Hucknall gymnastics star Ellie Downie made history this week after winning four medals at the European Championships in Cluj, Romania.

The 17-year-old boosted her claims for the Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Montreal with a stunning display to become the first Brit to win the all-round gold and followed that with silvers on the vault and floor final and bronze on the uneven bars.

But it was a competition to forget for her sister Becky, who was unable to defend her uneven bars title after injuring her elbow during her routine in the final, which ruled her out of Sunday’s beam final.

A delighted Ellie said: “I’ve always known I’m a good gymnast, but I didn’t come here expecting to walk out with a gold, two silvers and a bronze so it really blows my mind.

“I think this Championships has really shown me what I’m capable of.

“I went out and did 12 clean routines and to come away with four medals from them is a great feeling.

“I’m going to get my head down and work on new skills and hopefully show them if I’m selected for the worlds in Montreal.”

But amid her delight, she had words of consolation for sister Beckie

“I mainly just felt gutted for her - she worked so hard and the bars bronze I won is for her and me.

“That bronze was just so unexpected and if Becky had gone through her routine I’m sure she would’ve knocked me into fourth.

“Becky is such a hard worker and such a fighter and I know she’ll come back stronger.”

In the all-round, Ellie was in second place going into the final apparatus but beat Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs to the title.

She finished behind Coline Devillard of France in the women’s vault final before tying for third on the uneven bars alongside Eli Seitz as Belgium’s Nina Derwael won gold and Russia’s Elena Eremina took the silver.

Ellie’s fourth and final medal came in the women’s floor apparatus final where she was pipped for gold by Russia’s Angelina Melnikova by just 0.034 of a point.

Downie narrowly missed out on another medal when she finished fourth on the beam, which was won by Romanian veteran Catalina Ponor.