By Paul Martin
Jessica Gadirova led the British charge as the home nation delighted the Liverpool crowd in the final qualification session at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
The hosts made it through to the team final in second, behind only USA, while Gadirova has three individual finals to look forward to.
That trio includes the floor alongside sister Jennifer, the twins now set to add a shared World Championship final appearance to the Olympic showpiece they each competed in last summer.
Jessica will also go for gold in the individual all-around, alongside Alice Kinsella, and the vault following a fifth-placed finish.
“I’m excited for the finals, we’ll see what happens,” she said. “I expect a good and clean routine, hopefully I get a great score out of it.
“I did better than I thought but there are always improvements, gymnasts always think they can do better. Just a little bit more training and hopefully it’ll be a bit better.”
— World Gymnastics Championships 2022 (@WGC2022) October 31, 2022
The Gadirova twins soaked up the atmosphere of a home crowd first-hand in the summer, sitting among the spectators to watch their teammates enjoy a golden Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
This time they are at the heart of the action and both sparkled on the floor, with the conclusion of Jessica’s routine drawing perhaps the loudest cheers of the Championships so far.
“The crowd was incredible, it touched my heart,” she said.
“We watched the team final at the Commonwealths and heard the crowd.
“We rested ourselves for the World Championships so it was great to hear that atmosphere and have a taste of what it will be like, hearing that out on the floor is amazing.”
Jennifer’s floor routine was her only action of the evening but she made it count, a score of 14.600 seeing her make it through as the penultimate qualifier for Sunday evening’s final and contributing to Britain’s superb overall team display.
— World Gymnastics Championships 2022 (@WGC2022) October 30, 2022
“I’m really pleased,” she said. “I only did one piece and I’m glad I brought it and helped towards the team.
“I’m so excited [for the team final]. Qualifying in second, we’re just thrilled. There were a few mistakes made but we’re definitely trying to fix them and do better.”
The World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 will be one of the largest international sporting events ever to be held in the city. Over 500 gymnasts from more than 70 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena from 29 October to 6 November 2022. Tickets are available at www.2022worldgymnastics.com/tickets.