09:00AM, Wednesday 28 July 2021
Slough’s Amelie Morgan (right) with teammates Alice Kinsella, Jennifer Gadirova and Jessica Gadirova. Credit. Team GB.
There was a dramatic conclusion to the women’s team gymnastics final yesterday (Tuesday) as Great Britain’s women pipped Italy for a place on the podium behind winners, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and USA in second.
Slough’s Amelie Morgan played a crucial role in helping Team GB’s women secure their first gymnastics team medal since the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928.
After the first two pieces of apparatus the team of Morgan, Alice Kinsella, Jennifer Gadirova and Jessica Gadirova were placed seventh, but they fought hard on the remaining apparatus at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo to get themselves back into contention and finished with a combined score of 164.096 points.
The whole team were making their Olympic debut, and were also the youngest in the competition, but all of them showed great composure to first qualify for the final and then challenge the more fancied countries for medals.
In the team’s final floor display Morgan scored 14.033 to elevate Britain above Italy and Japan.
Morgan told the BBC: “I think we’re all just absolutely speechless, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. We put our absolute all into our preparation, so to come away with a medal and to make history, I don’t think we could have asked for much more.
“It seems so unreal that we’ve made history and won a medal. I don’t think we can quite believe it.
Beth Tweddle, an Olympic bronze medallist at London 2012, said: “It’s just incredible. They’ve done so well. We knew in qualification they had some really small errors that they could rectify, and they did.
“Amelie has been great explaining the hours that have gone into training. I think a lot of people think that with these elite sports people at the Olympics, they just turn up and it happens.”
Morgan showed good form heading into the Olympics, having walked away with a bronze medal for the uneven bars at the European Championships earlier this year, and narrowly missing out on a podium place in the beam and all-round competition.
Simone Biles decision to pull out of the team competition, having completed just one rotation with a score of 13.766 on the vault, sent shockwaves through the arena, but her USA teammates went on to secure silver behind ROC.
Biles is the most successful US gymnast of all time and the winner of four gold medals and a bronze at Rio 2016.
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