The individual female vaulters performed their last freestyle routine today to decide the European Championship medallists. For Great Britain Hannah Eccles and Lucy Phillips gave it their all to both gain big marks from the judges.
Lunged by her dad, John, Hannah and WH Bentley were first into the beautifully dressed Deutsche Bank Stadium, where some impressive technical moves stood out and the combination were rewarded with a total mark of 7.976. Speaking afterwards Hannah explained the difficulty of the ‘wineglass’ [a one legged stand side-on] movement and the daunting Aachen arena; “It’s really scary in there! I really wanted to qualify for the final round so I held it back the other day [in the first freestyle round] and played it safe. Dad’s favourite move [the wineglass] worked today so he was happy; it’s a really hard move and not many people do it so it sets you apart from the rest.”
Immediately afterwards Lucy Phillips with her mum and lunger, Liz, took to the stage with the beautiful dark bay gelding Pitucelli. A smooth and polished test from the purple clad vaulter saw them taking a score of 7.614; a happy Lucy who visibly enjoyed her final day competing commented; “The atmosphere just makes you want to perform more!”
With four days of competition complete and the total scores calculated Hannah finishes with a mark of 7.577 and eighth place, with Lucy in ninth place on a score of 7.510.
Simone Jäiser of Switzerland took the gold, Germany’s Corinna Knauf silver and Lisa Wild bronze from Austria.
In the final vaulting class of this year’s European Championships, the squad for Great Britain pulled out all the stops to produce a beautiful test in the packed stadium. Lunged by John Eccles and aboard Tylers Kernel, the squad of six showcased some exceptional work, producing one of their best rounds of the year to see a score of 7.387 awarded, for ninth place overall.
Commenting after their test, the squad said; “Ecstatic, it was great fun, really really good. The atmosphere in there was amazing, you get such a buzz from it, it’s really easy to bounce off it and get yourself pumped-up.
“We love all of it; it’s been really good fun, it’s been good. We’re a really close team, just a big family.”
Kerri (flyer for the team) added; “It’s really fun being up there – you get the wind in your hair and everyone’s looking at you.”
The team gold was eventually won by Germany, with Switzerland taking the silver and France the bronze.
Ann Rogerson, Chef d’Equipe for the vaulting team commented on the performances this year; “It’s just been great. The organisation here in Aachen has been amazing, the venue is outstanding and the team have done so well. For a lot of the squad this is their first senior championships and I’m so happy and so proud of them all, I’m really, really happy.”
Full results: http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/schedule/