Tweddle helps to secure close win

IPSWICH Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club further strengthened its chances of being selected as a training venue for the London 2012 Olympics by hosting another top international last weekend.

IPSWICH Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club further strengthened its chances of being selected as a training venue for the London 2012 Olympics by hosting another top international last weekend.

After the success of a men's international a fortnight previously, Great Britain's women's team narrowly beat Brazil in a closely fought artistic match.

The teams were neck-and-neck right up to the end of Saturday's competition before Britain's star Beth Tweddle sealed a dramatic victory with a 16.6 A. Bars routine.

The following day, the apparatus finals gave the coaches from both sides an opportunity to give one final test to their gymnasts as they prepare their team and tactics for the World Championships on September 1.


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The honours were shared in the individual apparatus finals, with Britain's Tweddle winning on A. Bars and Laura Jones on Beam, while Brazil's Jade Barbosa won on Vault and Ana Claudia Silva winning Floor.

The two days of competition at Pipers Vale has been just one part of a fantastic package that Andy Wood and his staff have put on for both of the squads.

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The GB team trained at the centre all week prior to the international, while the Brazil team have selected Ipswich as their base for two weeks ahead of their trip to Stuttgart for the World Championships.

Pipers Vale have now played host to two of the biggest internationals of the year, with the men's event taking place earlier in the month. The venue will also host the Veterans Championships later next month.

On Saturday, with two performances to go for GB on A. Bars and Brazil on Floor, Brazil were 1.375 ahead. It therefore all came down to Beckie Downie and Tweddle to recapture the lead.

Adrian Stan, Technical Director for Women's Artistic Gymnastics, said: “There was a lot of tension for both teams since this was the very last check point before Stuttgart and therefore there were plenty of mistakes, I'm afraid to say we have thrown away between six and eight points which I hope will not happen at worlds.”

Brazilian National Coach Oleg Ostapenko said: “Unfortunately without Diane dos Santos and with Lais Souza still not completely recovered from injury our total score dropped drastically, especially on floor and vault.

“I'm particularly happy with the performance of Ana Claudia Silva who went through without any major mistakes.

“It's obvious we relied on a very young team without international experience and I hope our gymnasts competition form will improve in the remaining week so that we can show our best in Stuttgart.

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