Follow Us On
World Champion Tweddle: 'Roll on, 2012!'
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Recently crowned world floor exercise champion Beth Tweddle (Great Britain) is eager for the 2012 Olympics to return to the O2 Arena, site of the world championships in October.

Beth Tweddle (Great Britain)

"You can see the venue looks absolutely fantastic, and the crowd has been great," said the 24-year-old Tweddle during the world championships, held Oct. 13-18 in London. "With the Olympics it will be 10 times better, so roll on 2012!"

Tweddle said the home crowd boosted her morale after she fell from uneven bars in the qualification, losing a chance to advance to the final. As the 2006 world champion and 2009 European champion on uneven bars, she was considered a medal favorite on the event in London.

"The British crowd helped me a lot," Tweddle said. "(After qualifications) I went out the exit, and little kids swarmed me for autographs. It's they who pulled me up and made me realize I still had the floor final to look forward to."

Tweddle praised the positive atmosphere created by the audience throughout the week.

"Normally you go away and you've got a couple G.B. flags, usually (belonging to) your mum and dad and some else's mum and dad," she said. "So to hear the whole arena shouting just for you is pretty amazing."

Tweddle said she is looking forward to competing at the 2012 Olympics "as long as the youngsters aren't kicking me out of the team," as well as at next year's European Team Championships that the U.K. will host in Birmingham. Tweddle won two titles at the 2009 Europeans in Milan.

"I'd love to repeat what I did this year, with it being at home," she said. "It's a team event, and I'm only a two-piece gymnast, so we'll see what the team needs me to do. I'll just hang around and see where the team needs me."

Tweddle said the British team is working hard to keep public interest growing as the Olympics approach.

"We're trying to high-profile gymnastics leading up to the 2012 Olympics, and get kids involved," Tweddle said. "We've got the kids coming through the doors. We just don't have the facilities to accommodate them. There are so many waiting lists around the country. I'm sure there are lots of little girls just on the waiting list."

Great Britain's male gymnasts also performed impressively in London, where Daniel Keatings won the all-around silver medal, and Kristian Thomas finished sixth all-around. Keatings and Thomas placed first and second, respectively, at the British Championships held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in London.

At worlds, Tweddle said she hoped to rally the British team after mistakes from teammates earlier in the competition. Louis Smith, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist on pommel horse, fell in the pommel horse final. Becky Downie and Rebecca Wing placed 16th and 18th, respectively, in the women's all-around final.

"Louis was really upset, and seeing his disappointment spurs you on because you want to go out and do it for the British camp," Tweddle said. "The girls didn't have a great day in the all-around, so hopefully I pulled the girls' results back up and everyone can say, 'Yeah, at least we got a couple of medals from this competition.' Two or three years ago, you would have been lucky to see one medal, if any."

Read complete coverage of the 2009 World Championships, including exclusive quotes and photos, in the December 2009 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters