Posted on 18/02/2023 in Disability
Pavel Karnejenko and Lottie Smith have been crowned the men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics senior all-around champions at this weekend’s Scottish National Artistic Gymnastics Championships which were held at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth.
Building on last year’s phenomenal warm up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the national event brings together the top artistic gymnasts from across the country. This year the field of gymnasts was bigger than before, with the event now spanning three days and disability gymnasts fully integrated into the all-around competition programme for the first time.
Pavel (South Essex) took home the senior men’s all-around title with a total score of 81.900 – including a phenomenal score of on 14.700 on rings. Following a hugely successful year, with an individual fifth place finish in the all-around competition at his debut commonwealth games, this is the 23 year old’s second consecutive senior men’s title and he was an early frontrunner in the competition.
It was a close battle for the podium places with second and third place in the senior men’s competition coming down to the gymnast’s final routines on horizontal bar. West Lothian’s Cameron Lynn finished the day in second place thanks to a score of 79.400, with commonwealth teammate Hamish Carter (Notts) coming third.
> Find out who won the individual apparatus finals on day three of the competition
For Lottie Smith (Notts) it was a first women’s senior championship title following her score of 46.600. It was a closely fought competition with the main challenger being first time senior Milli De O’Hara from Dynamic. She finished the competition in second place just 3.200 points behind. Lottie’s final performance on the beam sealed her championship title, after a solid all-round performance. There was a tie for bronze with Erin Fraser (Garioch) and West Lothian’s Tilly Bee sharing the spot on the podium – a matched result for Tilly from 2022.
Lottie is a newcomer to the Scottish Championships, with a family background making her eligible to compete for a national title and set her eyes on the path to the next Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 2026.
Following his win, Pavel Karnejenko said:
It feels good to win again this year, there’s room for improvement as always but I’m happy with my performance.
For Pavel, it is set to be a busy start to the season with several international competitions already in his schedule. He said: “British squad training camps have been going really well and I’ve been working on new skills to put in my routines. I’ve got four big competitions coming up, so I’m hoping to build on my scores”.
This weekend’s championships also act as an opportunity for gymnasts to compete for selection for one of three major events later this year, and Pavel has experience of this level of competition, after securing a silver team medal at the 2018 Junior European Championships.
Speaking after her first Scottish all-around win, Lottie Smith said: “It’s a bit overwhelming to be honest, but it’s nice that the hard work has paid off. It’s been a really great atmosphere at the competition, really relaxed and I’ve enjoyed it. I have British Championships in a few weeks, so there’s some apparatus that I’d like to improve, but training is going well.”
Scottish Gymnastics head of performance, Sam Hendrikson said:
It has been an impressive all-around competition, and we have really enjoyed watching the gymnasts compete and showcase their skills. A national event like this highlights the improvement we’ve seen in artistic gymnastics across the country, and we look forward to following the gymnasts progress, with many of today’s champions being current or previous members of our performance pathways.
In the younger age categories, it was a second men’s under 18 championship title for Manchester’s Reuben Ward who won medals at the European Youth Olympic Festival and Junior European Championships last year. He’ll be hoping his score of 75.200 will be enough to see him considered for selection for Great Britain again this year. Reuben also won the Dave Scollon memorial trophy for artistry – thanks to a phenomenal pommel horse routine. The top gymnasts in this age group are the same as 2022 with Daniel Sabba (Hamilton) winning silver this time, and Connor Sullivan (Portsmouth) coming third.
Anabella Higgins who trains with Woking became this year’s women’s junior champion, with a score of 42.600. She was joined by Holly Girvan from Meadowbank and Hannah Gibbons from Balwearie on the podium in second and third respectively.
We saw familiar faces return to claim the medals in the men’s under 16 competition. West Lothian gymnast Kyle Millar upgraded his 2022 bronze to gold, with last year’s champion Luca Robinson slipping into silver medal position. Aaron Convery has a very consistent performance, scoring 68.300 and taking bronze.
Aspiring gymnasts in the women’s espoir competition category showed great skills across the apparatus, with Cassie Taylor (Corby) coming out on top. Isla Carse (Flair) won silver, and Etta Bell from Largs won bronze.
In the all-around competitions across the other categories, the following gymnasts won gold medals:
- Men’s Under 14 – Christopher Halliday (Aberdeen)
- Men’s Under 12 – Ryan Nicolson (Hamilton)
- Men’s Disability (Senior) – Alistair Kemley (City of Glasgow)
- Women’s Disability (Junior & Senior – Class 1 & 2) – Megan Docherty (West Lothian)*
Congratulations to all the gymnasts and their coaches for their success at this weekend’s all-around competition. Full results from the competition are available from gymdata.co.uk
*please note - women's disability results have currently been collated across all levels and categories for all-around.