Bronze-medal British team were Simm-ply incredible

Whiteley ace Kelly Simm helped Great Britain to women's all-around bronze-medal success in the World Championships
Whiteley ace Kelly Simm helped Great Britain to women's all-around bronze-medal success in the World Championships
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KELLY Simm admits it might never truly sink in after Great Britain’s women claimed bronze in their best-ever team all-around performance at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.

Whiteley ace Simm helped the British team qualify for the final at the SSE Hydro but it looked like she might not be going home with a medal after a shaky start in the final on Tuesday.

A fall from Ellie Downie on the uneven bars and some struggles on the beam meant the Brits were up against it at the half-way stage.

But a series of solid floor performances from Downie, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane put them in with a shout heading into the vault.

And some stellar work there saw the girls finish on 172.380 and pip the Russians to the podium by less than half a point.

‘That was incredible, the girls did so well out there and I am so proud of the performances they put in,’ said Simm.

‘Obviously it was a difficult start but we really pulled together to help Ellie after the fall and she was amazing after that.

‘There were a few nerves heading into the vault because we knew that we were in with a chance but the girls did so well. We were obviously emotional afterwards and I don’t think it will sink in for a while what the team has achieved.’

The British team achieved their number one goal on Friday as their qualification round was enough to seal their final berth and book their spot to Rio.

But there was no sign of complacency from the team as they entered the SSE Hydro to a wall of noise from the home fans.

In the end, it proved to be a roller-coaster ride for the Brits with a triumphant USA team setting a blistering early pace with three scores in excess of 15 during their opening vaults.

China were hot on their heels, while Russia and Japan battled it out for third – Britain’s girls loitering around the fifth spot.

But they showed their mental strength as they remained focused and a brilliant 15.133 on the final vault of the night assured their place in history.

‘To see that final vault go so well was amazing,’ added Simm.

‘Getting to the top eight was obviously our main goal and anything else was a bonus.

‘So I don’t think any of us expected that we would come in and get a medal so to be able to do that is incredible.

‘There’s still finals to come for some of the girls so maybe when it’s finished we will all be able to celebrate a little but we are over the moon at the moment and can’t believe it.’

n SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future.

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