sports gazette

Olympic stars chosen to represent Britain at the World Cup of Gymnastics

The British gymnasts for the upcoming World Cup in London were announced on Wednesday
Published: 8 Mar 2017

Amy Tinkler, Ellie Downie, Sam Oldham and Brinn Bevan have been announced as the British gymnasts set to compete at the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) iPro Sport World Cup of Gymnastics.

The four gymnasts have a combined total of 14 major championship medals between them and are determined to dazzle the audience at the O2 Arena.

The competition is returning to London - the home of the first ever World Cup of Gymnastics in 1975 - and will take place on Saturday 8th April.

Tinkler, who won bronze on floor at Rio and was Team GB's youngest medallist, said: "I'm so excited to compete in London - the bigger the stage, the better.

"I love performing in front of big crowds, so to have that atmosphere it's going to be incredible.

"To know that pretty much everyone is supporting me is a huge motivation and I know will definitely boost my performance."

The 17-year old, who has recently moved to South Essex Gymnastics Club to help further her career, will be competing alongside Downie in a world-class female field.

Downie is going from strength to strength on the international stage after winning an all-around bronze at the 2015 European Championships.

The 17-year-old exuded style and strength as she scooped silver on both floor and vault, as well as in the team event, at the 2016 European Championships.

Other gymnasts to watch out for are 16-year-old Russian star Angelina Melnikova and American 15-year-old Jordan Chiles.

On the men's side, Oldham has just returned from the American Cup and is delighted to be involved in the event and competing on the world stage again so soon.

He said: “To be associated with Matchroom Sport, Sky and iPro (official sponsors) is massive for our sport in this country.

“I think it’s that time where we’re ready to step up and take it to that next level.”

The 24-year-old, who won high bar silver at the 2015 European Championships, started gymnastics aged seven because he was incredibly hyperactive and needed a controlled environment to run around in.

He joked how his mum was particularly pleased as it meant the furniture at home remained in one piece!

Team GB boasts phenomenal strength in depth in their gymnastics squad and Oldham’s teammate Bevan said it was a huge honour to be called up to represent his country.

The 19-year-old was part of the men's team in Rio who just missed out on a bronze medal and admits that that result has added extra fire to his desire to succeed.

He said: "It's made me so much more motivated and I’m determined to get my Olympic medal and get to these competitions."

Bevan also praised Hearn’s track record in successfully boosting the profile of certain sports and is full of optimism about the impact the partnership with Matchroom will have.

He said: "Everything you've done for some of the other sports, like snooker and darts, it's exciting times and hopefully it can do the same for gymnastics."

International competition at the event comes in the form of Ukranian Oleg Verniaiev, who claimed the parallel bars gold and all-around silver in Rio, and American vault world medallist Donnell Whittenburg.

One notable absentee from the starting list of competitors is Max Whitlock.

The double Olympic champion is still easing himself back into training after his exploits in Rio and won't be competing after choosing to focus on just two disciplines over the next 12 months.

He will still be present on the day though to put on a few demonstrations - two in the afternoon session and two in the evening - which are sure to wow the crowds.

The iPro World Cup of Gymnastics will be broadcast exclusively on Sky Sports Mix, which is available to all Sky customers.

For further updates, stay tuned to Sports Gazette (@SportsGazette) and the official competition Twitter account @WCGLondon.

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