Commonwealth Games: Ondine Achampong nails fault to win England team gymnastics gold
Youth and experience saw England home in women's team gymnastics in Birmingham; Ondine Achampong's final vault after Claudia Fragapane's floor routine claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games; Jake Jarman beat fellow Englishman James Hall to win gold in men's all-around gymnastics final
Last Updated: 31/07/22 12:49pm
Ondine Achampong nailed her final vault to land women's team gymnastics gold for England at the Commonwealth Games, as Jake Jarman beat James Hall to the all-around title.
Hall was hoping to land an elusive all-around gymnastics gold medal in the men's final at Arena Birmingham after taking silver behind the now-retired Nile Wilson on the Gold Coast in 2018.
He finished qualifying in the top slot on Friday as England swept to team gold, and was well-fancied to add another gold to his collection on Sunday.
However, 20-year-old Jarman, who was leading going into the final round, produced a superb performance on the high bar to finish with an overall total of 83.450 points, beating Hall by 0.550 points.
Marios Georgiou won bronze for Cyprus.
"I think I got a little emotional," Jarman told the BBC. "It's quite overwhelming and I couldn't ask for a better competition; and being with James - he's been inspirational. I don't know how he did it."
Hall now has three individual silver medals and two team golds across two Commonwealth Games. He was ahead after two rounds but appeared to injure his ankle while landing on the vault in round four. He was still able to complete the event.
Youth and experience steer England women to team glory
In her first major multi-sports competition, 18-year-old Achampong shrugged off the inevitable nerves to score 14.15, enough to see off the surging Australian team, who had reduced the deficit to a mere 0.05 points going into the final rotation.
But it was Claudia Fragapane, a gymnast at the opposite end of her career, who brought the house down with a stirring floor routine that, while failing to land her a place in the individual final, proved a fitting send-off from her Commonwealth Games career as she claimed a fifth gold medal.
Alice Kinsella, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Kelly Simm were the other members of England's victorious team.
Fragapane had burst onto the scene at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, when she claimed four gold medals, and was forced to battle through a series of career-threatening injuries, including concussion and operations on her ankle and elbow, to earn her place in Birmingham.
Fragapane, 24, shared a lingering embrace with 27-year-old Simm, who also won a medal in Glasgow, and, with retirement talk in the air, she admitted: "This is definitely our last Commonwealth Games because we're not going to go on for four more years.
"I've had four major injuries so just to get back and do it again was my main goal. I shouldn't have come back so quickly but I pushed myself to get here. I'll take it one step at a time - I've got to be careful with this fragile body now."
England, who were pipped by Canada to gold on the Gold Coast four years ago, started as heavy favourites to regain their title but it fell to a series of cool-headed vault performances to see them safely over the line.
"I was a bit nervous but I just told myself to go out and do the vault I usually do which is more than fine," admitted Achampong, who delivered the decisive performance.
Besides the battle to beat the Australians, the secondary narrative became a fight between England team-mates to secure the two places per nation available for all-around and individual apparatus finals.
Birmingham-born Kinsella topped the all-around qualifying standings on 54.450, 0.3 clear of second-placed Achampong, with Fenton, who finished fourth, the unlucky one to be eliminated.
But Fenton, the defending champion, will contest the uneven bars final after a top-scoring 14.0 ahead of Achampong, who was hugely impressive on what was her debut in senior international competition.
Kinsella, the 2019 European champion, was second best on beam behind Australia's Georgia Godwin, with Fenton taking third and with it England's second final place over Achampong by virtue of a higher execution rating.
Kinsella again top-scored with 13.450 on the floor while, where Achampong will join her in the final. Fragapane finished well adrift of the final places with 12.450, but appeared content as the final twists and turns of her career played out.
Scotland's Shannon Archer had a successful night, top-scoring in vault qualifying with 13.5 and also reaching the horizontal bars final, while she will be joined by compatriot Cara Kennedy in the all-around final.
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