PONTYPOOL teen Maisie Methuen was almost lost for words after striking gold at the British Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, writes David Williams.
The 15-year-old, in her first season as a senior, posted a score of 13.425 to win the floor final ahead of Rio Olympian Claudia Fragapane.
Methuen had already finished joint second in the all-around final before producing a routine which saw her get the better of four-time Commonwealth champion Fragapane (13.150).
A stunned Methuen said: “I can’t even explain it. I never thought I’d go out there to win gold.
“I actually just went out there to do my best and try and beat what I did (in the all-around), but I won the gold and I’m really happy.
“I never expected to come second (in the all-around), I just wanted to come out and do my routines, do them clean, make sure I wasn’t nervous and get my skills out.
“That’s what I did and it paid off.”
Speaking about her rival, 19, she continued: “I love her floor routine and never
expected to beat her but, where she is coming back from Rio, it is hard for her.
“It is a nice feeling to beat one of my closest friends. I thought she would beat me but then I did think I could do it, and I did.”
Fragapane, whose routine gave a nod to her appearance on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, had nothing but praise for Methuen.
She said: “Maisie was amazing, she’s got a stunning routine, really beautiful.
“She showed off all her
elegance and power, and her floor landings were flawless, and I’m really happy for her to take that gold.”
Selection for the European Championships in Romania (April 19-23) is the youngster’s next target.
“I’d really hope to get there, it would be my first European Championships as a senior so I would love to go,” she said.
Gwent star Methuen, who was also fourth on the beam, took the all-around junior crown at the British Championships 12 months ago.
Following that success, Methuen travelled to the Olympics in Brazil with Fragapane and the rest of the Team GB gymnasts.
Methuen wasn’t there to compete but to take in the Olympics experience, something she will be hoping to sample again in the future as a competitor.