11:00AM, Friday 30 July 2021
Amelie Morgan revelled in proving the critics wrong after Team GB’s women gymnasts caused an upset and secured a first team medal since 1928.
Slough’s Morgan and teammates Alice Kinsella and twin sisters Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova won bronze just weeks after they were caught in a controversial selection storm.
They were collateral damage in criticism surrounding the omission of Beckie Downie, who was deemed Team GB’s best chance of a female gymnastics medal.
Selectors said they wanted to focus on the team event and were vindicated by a superb performance from the quartet, who were all making their Games debut.
“We've had quite a lot of criticisms saying we're an inexperienced team, and I think we've done so well to put that behind us and we've made history,” said Morgan, whose history-making exploits were broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+.
“We've proved it doesn't matter how old you are, how experienced, we were selected for this team for a reason and we've come here and done our job.
“When there's criticisms on social media you are definitely aware of it. You have to try and put it past you but it does stick in your mind, I think for us going out there and proving people wrong was the icing on the cake.
“I still can't get my head around how we've made history. I just was so honoured to be able to represent this country and our whole team and I’m so proud of how our whole team pulled together.”
Morgan delivered the decisive moment, as she nailed an uneven bars routine, as Team GB came back from the dead.
At the halfway stage, they were seventh and seemingly out of contention but their night changed on the vault as the Gadirova twins earned 14.433s from the judges and Kinsella was close behind on 14.266.
That left them fifth and still with an outside chance of a medal going to the uneven bars. Jessica Gadirova went first, scoring 13.566 before Kinsella (14.166) and Morgan (14.033) produced the routine of their lives.
That momentarily put Team GB top but they swiftly overtaken by Russia and USA, leaving all eyes on Italy.
Team GB had a 39.564-point buffer and Italy, on the beam, came in just below with a 39.108 combined.
“I think for us our main aim was just to enjoy it going out there and improve our performances from qualification, we never would have imagined ourselves standing on that podium next to Russia and America,” Morgan added.
“You are aware of the scores in the back of your mind but you can't control other countries so you have to fix on your own performances and not let that distract you.
“I think I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, I had to pinch myself to check that it was real, we were absolutely speechless, I didn't know what to think, I was over the moon.”
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