Simm produces superb display at English Championships

Kelly Simm won three medals at the English Artistic Championships. ''Picture: Sarah Standing
Kelly Simm won three medals at the English Artistic Championships. ''Picture: Sarah Standing
  • Simm wins three medals at the English Championships
  • Whiteley gymnast claimed gold in the floor, silver in the vault and bronze in the all-around
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Kelly Simm exceeded her expectations by finishing on the podium in three out of her five events at the English Artistic Championships last weekend.

The 19-year-old won the floor competition, came second in the vault and placed third in the all-around standings.

The championships took place at Loughborough University for the first time and for Simm, it was also the first major competition of the season.

She said: ‘The competition was really tough. It’s a really good one to start the year with.

‘Everyone is really strong.

‘It was the first time that it was held at Loughborough, it’s an amazing university.

‘The gym was really good and well set up.’

The Whiteley gymnast secured silver in the vault with an average score of 13.950.

She scored 14.100 for her first attempt but her second score of 13.800 was not quite as good.

But she had already done enough to finish second behind Great Britain team-mate Claudia Fragapane (14.125).

‘I tried a harder second vault,’ explained Simm.

‘It was good to get that out ready for the British Championships in a couple of weeks’ time.’

However, she nailed her floor routine and came away with the English title thanks to a score of 14.000.

She comfortably beat Lisa Mason (13.850) and Amy Tinkler (13.700).

It is the second time in a row that the Dynamo athlete has won the event 
but she was still surprised at the outcome.

‘I’m really happy and I didn’t expect to win,’ said Simm, who is coached by Dynamo’s Debbie and Keith Richardson.

‘It was the last piece of the competition.

‘I was really confident with it and it went well.

‘I came out with a score of 14.000, which was really good.

‘That was the last time I performed that routine because I will be 
changing it for the British Championships, so it was nice that it all came together.’

Her floor and vault scores were combined with her A-bars (13.750) and beam (12.700) scores, where 
she finished fifth and sixth respectively, to give her an all-around total of 54.550.

Simm, who studies sport science at Southampton Solent University, faced some tough competition for the title.

South Durham’s Tinkler took the prestigious accolade in her first year as a senior with a big score of 56.200.

Taking the silver was Commonwealth star Fragapane (54.900).

However, Simm was delighted with her overall performance but knows there is room for improvement for the British Championships, which take place at the end of the month.

She said: ‘I think it’s my highest score for all-around.

‘I was trying out new skills and I was really happy I managed to get all that together.

‘I had a fall on the beam, though.

‘I’ll be working on the execution, legs and feet on bars and just a bit of tidying up for the British Championships.’

The competition will be held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool from March 27-29.