Hucknall’s Becky and Ellie Downie admitted they had to pinch themselves in amazement after helping Great Britain’s women to their first ever World Gymnastics Championships team bronze medal.
Heading into the final at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, Great Britain had qualified in third place but were well aware that in the history of the competition they had never gone on to claim a medal, with their best finish being a fifth place in Tokyo four years ago.
And things got off to a difficult start as Ellie, who was the second GB gymnast in action, had an early fall on the bar and scored just 13.033.
But big sister Becky was next up and started the comeback, scoring 14.833 meaning Great Britain were fourth after the first rotation.
And the Downie sisters – along with Ruby Harrold, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane – kept that form going and on the final rotation vaulted their way to a bronze medal, with America storming to gold and China taking silver.
“This week has been a really crazy week,” Becky said. “After qualifications I had quite a big disappointment but we knew we had the potential to come out fighting.
“For me I had to change my bar routine a bit rapidly and I was a bit nervous going up, especially after Ellie.
“But I just had to go because in a team final anything can happen and we just had to keep fighting and every single point counts.
“After that first mistake the girls did amazing and I couldn’t have asked for any more and I’m so, so pleased.”
While that concluded Becky’s World Gymnastics Championships, Ellie still had the vault and floor finals to look forward to.
She was also the only woman from her team to qualify for two apparatus finals.
In Saturday ‘s vault against the world’s best Ellie came fourth just 0.4 of a mark behind American superstar Simone Biles in16-year old Ellie’s first world championships.
On Sunday it was time to compete on floor along with her teammate Claudia Fragapane who is a floor specialist.
Ellie qualified in eighth for this event but performed the routine of her life, scoring a personnel best finishing in sixth position ahead of Claudia in seventh.
“I wasn’t hoping to come in the top three because there were obviously some really good girls in there, so it was about building for next year and just going out there and enjoying it,” she said.
“It was a great experience, it was really fun out there and I knew going out there that there were some really good girls with some really high scores.
“So I just knew that I had to go out there and do my best, all I could do really were the best vaults I could.
“It was great to be out there with the likes of Simone Biles, I could actually hear her shouting for me which was pretty cool.
“People like that inspire me, Simone is an absolutely amazing gymnast and she’s amazing to watch so that’s an inspiration.”
Earlier this year she became the first ever woman’s gymnast to achieve a medal in a major AA final at the European Championships in Montpellier France making history for British Gymnastics once again .
On Friday Ellie will be travelling to London as she is a nominee for Sky Sportswoman of the Year after winning Sky Sportswoman of the Month in May.
She flies to France the next day where she is appearing in a gala alongside her sister and both are looking forward to the coming year and fighting for two of five spots up for grabs on the Olympic team for Rio.
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