Beaming Lloyd-Jones thrilled with top display

Portsmouth talent Maisie Lloyd-Jones competing on the beam at the British Artistic ' Espoir Championships. Picture: Alan Edwards/
Portsmouth talent Maisie Lloyd-Jones competing on the beam at the British Artistic ' Espoir Championships. Picture: Alan Edwards/
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High-flying gymnast Maisie Lloyd-Jones turned on the style with a sparkling performance at the British Artistic – Espoir Championships in Glasgow.

The 12-year-old England international finished fourth in the beam final, with a score of 12.500, and 15th in the all-around event, totalling 48.150 points.

It was a great display from the Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre (PGC) talent, who was one of the youngest in the 12-to-13-year-old category at the Emirates Arena.

She said: ‘My aim was to finish in the top 15 in Great Britain and overall I finished 15th, so I did it!

‘My main goal was to prove to myself I could do all my routines and I think I managed this, just about!

‘The other gymnasts were so friendly – whenever you fall off they all cheer for you as they know how hard it is to do your routine well.

‘Glasgow was the biggest arena I have competed in and I loved the atmosphere.

‘I knew my mum, nan, sister, dad and uncle were in the crowd, which kept me going.’

Lloyd-Jones exceeded expectations on the beam, with PGC coaches Tina Field and Ashley Allen also watching on.

‘My floor and vault routines are my strongest, so none of us could believe it when I got into the beam final,’ added Lloyd-Jones.

‘It was the highlight of the whole competition for me.

‘In the final I came fourth, only just missing out on the bronze medal.

‘As I was one of the youngest in the competition I was really pleased.’

On day one of the prestigious competition, Lloyd-Jones started out on floor and vault.

She had to get into her stride quickly.

‘It was an early start for me, which I wasn’t keen on, but the first two rounds, floor and vault, went well and I was really pleased with myself,’ said Lloyd-Jones.

‘I went on to the beam and was so focused I didn’t even hear the music playing in the arena.

‘Next up was the bars, where things didn’t go quite to plan.

‘I fell during my warm-up as the bars felt tighter than I am used to.

‘The lower bar routine started well but when I moved onto the higher bar I didn’t kick enough into it and fell off.

‘I carried on and did a good dismount but I jarred my knee. I didn’t tell my coach!

‘After the bars, I was worried my beam wouldn’t go well as my knee hurt during the warm-up, but I managed to stick to all the complicated moves.

‘It was so exciting when I finished eighth, as it meant I had qualified for the beam final.’

Lloyd-Jones will head to the England Espoir Championships in March, hoping to replicate her success from last year, when she placed first on the floor and second on the vault.

She added: ‘I’d like to be in the top-10 overall again next year.

‘What I really want to be known for is my floor routine, though.

‘Everyone remembers Claudia Fragapane for her floor – one day I want that to be me.’