Nottingham’s Becky Downie could not have been prouder of her gymnastics teammates after a fifth place finish in the team event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.Becky, older sister to 16-year-old Ellie, helped the team end on 174.362 after their four apparatus in the Arena Olimpica de Rio – a repeat of their position four years ago at London 2012.
The quintet of the Downie sisters, Ruby Harrold, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane sat third after a strong uneven bars but dropped to fifth following a slip by Ellie on beam. They were unable to make the ground up as the USA stormed to gold with Russia and China taking silver and bronze.
The team took a historic first ever Wold Championship team medal in Glasgow last year but Becky believes the standard of the other nations continues to push the boundaries of the sport.
“I couldn’t have done too much more. I was fighting towards the end of that today but overall I’m really happy. It’s the team final so there is quite a lot of pressure going up there,” said Downie.
“I think Glasgow did set the expectation and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy here. We’ve all upgraded our routines since Glasgow but the level of gymnastics has gone up again and we couldn’t have done anymore.
“It wasn’t quite what we did at the Worlds but I’m still really proud of everybody. The team has done an amazing job and I’m just really proud of the girls.”
Sister Ellie admitted to feeling the pressure after shouldering the responsibility of all four apparatus but the four-time European medallist was upbeat following her debut Olympic final.
“I knew that I was up on all four pieces so I did feel the pressure a little bit today,” said Downie.
“But it was definitely an amazing experience. I had a slight mistake on the beam but, looking back at the total, even if we add that score we still wouldn’t be in the medals.
“It’s always disappointing when you make a mistake but I knew I had to get up there and fight for every tenth and I think I managed to do that and my score was fairly decent even after the fall.”
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