Team NI: Gymnasts target top eight finish

India McPeak
India McPeak

After the first day of competition on Monday in the women’s team event the Northern Ireland women’s gymnastics team lie in 10th place.

The four girls – Nicole Mawhinney (18), India McPeak (18), Sarah Beck (17) and Ciara Roberts (16) competed on the vault and bars and with the best three scores to count they put together six solid routines with no major mistakes.

Nicole led the way on vault with a score of 13.266. “My vault went really well, I got a very good score but I made one mistake on the bars and lost quite a lot on one of the moves but the atmosphere was terrific,” she said.

“I really want us to finish in the top eight. There is a lot of good competition but I feel it is possible - if we all stick our routines.”

Sarah, who top scored on the bars (11.466), added, “I’ve enjoyed the experience especially with all the support we’ve been getting from the home crowd but you still have to concentrate on what you’re doing and keep focused.”

Ciara commented, “I like coming out here and competing. I didn’t do as well as I could but it was a learning experience. It’s been really cool being in the village and meeting athletes from other sports.”

India has been hampered by a knee injury sustained in training. “The adrenalin took over but it did stop me competing at my best.” However she was delighted to have competed in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“I didn’t know that, I’m quite glad I didn’t know that because I might have found it hard to concentrate.”

The girls will complete the competition on Tuesday on the beam and floor with a top eight finish the target.

“I think the girls did very well and they came together as a team and helped each other along and I’m very happy with them and we’re looking forward to the beam and the floor. Beam is India’s best apparatus and Nicole loves going out there and dancing,” explained coach Kin Kensett-Friar.

Sarah Beck lies 25th and Nicole Mawhinney 26th overall with the top 24 moving on to the all-around final.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s two male gymnasts were also in action. Luke Carson and Matthew Cosgrave were taking part on the pommel horse.

Cosgrave, from Belfast and competing in his second Commonwealth Games but first for eight years, performed a clean routine and recorded a score of 13.133 but Carson, who competed in Delhi four years ago, lost his balance and came of the pommel and the penalty incurred left him with a score of 11.533.

Cosgrave finished 12th and Carson 34th. The two men will be back in action on Tuesday on the asymmetric bars.