Liverpool backed to put on a show for World Gymnastics Championships

·3-min read
Commonwealth Games champions will have another chance to shine on the global stage in Liverpool
Commonwealth Games champions will have another chance to shine on the global stage in Liverpool

Liverpool might be best known for its football teams but gymnastics icon Beth Tweddle insists the city will show its all-round sporting colours when the World Championships come to town in October, writes Paul Eddison.

Tweddle was the face of British gymnastics in the 2000s, winning three world titles before claiming bronze at London 2012.

And while she was born in South Africa, before moving to the UK as a toddler, it was in Liverpool that she honed her craft as a gymnast.

So it is little surprise that when Liverpool was announced as the host of the World Championships, Tweddle could not contain her excitement.

She said: “When I found out that the gymnastics was coming to Liverpool, I was made up. I’ve done most of my training from the age of 12 to 28 in Liverpool.

"Liverpool is a sporting city. Yes, there are two major football clubs but we are known for other sports as well, whether it is gymnastics, boxing, swimming so it was very special to hear and the fact I’m an ambassador as well means that I’ll definitely be there every day.”

Britain’s gymnasts will head to Liverpool full of confidence after a summer in which they have dominated and made history at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.

Jake Jarman became the first British man to win four Commonwealth gymnastics titles at a single Games, before Joe Fraser, who also won three golds in Birmingham, then claimed Britain’s first men’s all-around European title.

All this was achieved without triple Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock, who took the summer off, and with just two years to go until Paris, Tweddle is excited at just what the team can achieve.

She said: “The main focus is the build-up to 2024 so it’s getting those experiences. We’ve got a lot of younger members of the team coming through so every competition they are doing is giving them more and more experience. It’s that pathway to start qualifying for Paris.

“They have done amazingly over the summer and let’s hope it can continue. I guess the teams will stay pretty similar but they have got the trials starting in a couple of weeks’ time.

“Just to be selected onto the team now is incredibly difficult. I do all the biogs when I’m doing prep for the BBC and literally every single one of them had international medals to their name which is such a good thing for us.

“And it’s a nice thing for them because it’s not all about one person, you are relying on the whole team, whereas previously we have potentially had to rely on one big score from someone.

“Now you have Jake and Joe were in the all-around, James Hall picked up the injury at the Commonwealths but he and Jake were one and two at the Commonwealths. Everyone is contributing to the overall score.”

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