Hucknall’s Downie sisters help GB to fifth in Rio

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Hucknall’s Becky Downie, 24, could not have been prouder of her GB artistic gymnastics teammates after a fifth-place finish in the team event at Rio 2016 yesterday.

The team ended on 174.363 after their four apparatus in the Arena Olimpica de Rio - a repeat of their position four years ago at London 2012.

The quintet of Becky, her sister Ellie, Ruby Harrold, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane sat third after a strong uneven bars but dropped to fifth following a slip by Ellie, 17, on the beam.

They were unable to make the ground up as the USA stormed to gold with Russia and China taking silver and bronze.

The team took an historic first ever World Championship team medal in Glasgow last year but Becky believes the standard of the other nations continues to push the boundaries of the sport.

“I couldn’t have done too much more,” she said. “I was fighting towards the end of that but overall I’m really happy.

“It’s the team final so there is quite a lot of pressure going up there.

“I think Glasgow did set the expectation and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy here.

“We’ve all upgraded our routines since Glasgow and got more but the level of gymnastics has gone up again and we couldn’t have done anymore.

“It wasn’t quite what we did at the worlds but I’m still really proud of everybody. The team has done an amazing job and I’m just really proud of the girls.”

Ellie added: “I knew that I was up on all four pieces so I did feel the pressure a little bit today.

“It was definitely an amazing experience. I had a slight mistake on the beam but looking back at the total even if we add that score we still wouldn’t be in the medals.

“It’s always disappointing when you make a mistake but I knew I had to get up there and fight for every 10th and I think I managed to do that and my score was fairly decent even after the fall.”

Ruby Harrold had praise for team mate Ellie, saying: “Ellie was very brave coming out today and prove that she can do the performances that she’s been working on.”

By Tuesday’s final Ellie had thankfully recovered from a bad fall she took in helping GB reach the women’s team gymnastics final at Rio 2016 on Sunday.

She was completing a somersault on the floor when she landed awkwardly before being assessed by medical staff and returning to compete on the vault.

Team GB finished with a total of 174.064 to qualify for Thursday’s final in fourth place behind the defending champions the United States, China and Russia.

Individually, Downie also made the all-around final after finishing in 24th with 56.466, while teammate Amy Tinkler will compete in the floor final after a score of 14.600.

“I missed my tumble and landed on the top of my back and felt a bit shaky so I decided not to complete my final pass,” Downie said.

“I left the arena and the medical staff gave me a look over, I felt fine and refocused for vault no problem.

“Overall it was a mixed competition for us. There were some great routines and a few mistakes.”