Great Britain’s rhythmic gymnastics group fell agonisingly short of securing an Olympic Games place at the London Prepares test event at the North Greenwich arena.
The team missed the required benchmark score of 45.223 by just 0.273 marks in the group all-around competition, meaning British Gymnastics will not submit a nomination to the British Olympic Association for a host nation place at London 2012.
The qualification has been held over two days, and the GB team – Jade Faulkner, Francesca Fox, Lynne Hutchison, Louisa Pouli, Rachel Smith and Georgina Cassar – completed a clean ball routine on Monday to score 23.100, but fell just short of their target after they scored 21.850 in Tuesday’s ribbon and hoop performance.
Missing out: The Great Britain team failed to reach the required standard
Early errors with the hoop and a knot in a ribbon caused problems in the routine but Cassar is confident this does not spell the end for the GB rhythmic group.
‘We’re definitely gutted,’ Cassar said.
‘This isn’t going to be the end of us.We’ve worked so hard for this. We can be so much better. We were 0.2 off the mark we needed.
‘We’re going to fight for it because we know it’s far from our best routine and for us this isn’t the end.’
However, British gymnastics Olympic performance director Tim Jones confirmed this is the end of the road for the group’s London 2012 dream.
‘We’ve gone through a long process with the British Olympic Association which started in May last year,’ Jones said.
‘We were hoping to use a host nation place and we agreed at that point in time that we would set a standard benchmark score.
in full flow: The Swiss team perform during the rhythmic gymnastics qualification
‘That score had to be achieved in qualification competition so our situation is that we will not be nominating a group to the BOA to be in the Olympic team for summer this year.
‘We’ve got a very clear process and policy in place and there’s no recourse on that.
‘The benchmark was designed to do two things – to show they would have a level of credible performance and the second thing was that we would have a legacy for the future to push the sport forward.
‘I think the girls have done a terrific job of raising their game and I think we’re starting to show we can begin to compete in the group event but unfortunately this time they didn’t achieve the benchmark we’d hoped for.’
The disappointment comes after an otherwise impressive performance by Britain at the test event, after the men’s artistic team of Louis Smith, Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock, нетфликс Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteleymonov sealed the first full berth for GB at an Olympic Games last week.
Getting in a twirl: Julie Zetlin of the USA performs with the ribbon
The women’s artistic team had already qualified a full quota for London 2012 at the World Championships in Tokyo last October and British champion Kat Driscoll has secured a place for GB’s women in the trampoline competition.
Britain’s only representative in the individual all-around rhythmic competition was Francesca Jones, the highest-ranked Briton at last year’s world championships in Montpellier, whose host nation place at the Games still needs to be ratified by the BOA.
Jones produced a confident ribbon routine which scored 23.250 before her final piece of apparatus, the clubs, scored 22.325 which were added to Monday’s ball and hoop scores to give her an overall total of 88.600.
The five-time British champion finished in 25th and last place with Russia’s Daria Kondakova leading the way and qualifying for Wednesday’s final in first place with a combined score of 109.475.