Rio 2016 – Day 3 Gymnastics
I’m not sure jumping up and down on a trampoline is the most artistic of all gymnastic events but it is a pretty serene sight seeing lithe women fly through the air, throwing all kinds of shapes at high altitude before bouncing back up again like an astronaut in a space station.
We were at the Rio Olympic Arena today for a little gymnastics action and I wouldn’t say I learnt anything apart from falling out of the trampoline badly affects your score. Otherwise the scoring, and at least the docking of points for defections was hard to fathom, but it was enjoyable nevertheless and excitedly we got to see Great Britain pick up a medal.
In fact never before has a Brit even made the Trampoling final, yet both Bryony Page and the more fancied Katherine Driscoll made the final 8 after we saw two rounds of qualifiers. The final 8 consisted of previous Olympic champion and the well supported Roseanagh MacClennan, two handy looking Chinese girls, two girls from Belarus, who to my novice eyes, looked the two to beat and a girl from Georgia.
The final was one round, and there was no room for error as one of the Belarus girls found out after she fell out of the bouncy bit of the trampoline and scored just 5.7 points, the equivalent of spelling your name right in an English GSCE.
Meanwhile early doors Bryony Page posted a 56.04 and led the field somewhat surprisingly which did allow me to wave my Union Jack indiscriminately. As others jumped but didn’t get close to Page’s score I got a bit nervous and I did get a few looks when I clapped the other girls making a mistake. Actually I was the only person in the 14,000 capacity stadium (about 60% full) that booed the Russian in the qualifiers, which I thought was acceptable behaviour.
Anyway the Canadian MacClennan pulled off a stunning routine to take the lead and then it was left to one the Chinese girls and the other Belarusian to expectadly knock our girl out of the medals, but it never happened with Li, from China grabbing the bronze just short of Page and Platrenia from Belarus flunking it and finishing 5th.
The shrieks of joy and surprise from the 25-year from Preston reverberated around the arena and it was a proud moment to see her stand on the silver spot of the podium and watch the Union Jack be raised high up in the arena.