Britain’s rhythmic gymnastic team fail to make Olympics

GREAT Britain’s rhythmic gymnastic team have failed to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games, however performance director Tim Jones is refusing to panic.

The team narrowly missed the benchmark score of 45.223 by just 0.273 marks in the group all-round competition at the London Prepares test event, meaning British Gymnastics will not submit a nomination to the British Olympic Association for a host nation place.

The GB squad of Jade Faulkner, Francesca Fox, Lynne Hutchison, Louisa Pouli, Rachel Smith and Georgina Cassar did not qualify to receive funding from UK Sport and almost entirely funded themselves with the help of their parents.

The team was aiming to be the first ever to compete for Britain in the rhythmic gymnastics group event at an Olympics but failed after an unsuccessful appeal to the judges to increase their mark.

Francesca Jones still expected to compete in the individual event for Britain at the London Games and Tim Jones believes rhythmic gymnastics will continue to grow in the country.

“As with any sport that has been striving to make a host nation place, the idea is not just about turning up in the summer and just competing and there being nothing that the sport uses to drive on in the future,” he said.

“We’re hoping that this is really the catalyst that moves our rhythmic programme forwards into the next cycle.

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“With all the hard work that everyone’s undertaken and the small group of staff I’ve been working with over the last few days and supporting the coaches and the gymnasts it’s just a difficult time for everyone.”

The men’s artistic team have secured the first full berth for GB at an Olympic Games, while the women’s artistic team had already qualified a full quota for London 2012. British champion Kat Driscoll has also secured a place for GB’s women in the trampoline competition.

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