Featured on and in the June issue of International Gymnast magazine, reigning European uneven bars champion Becky Downie told IG she and her English teammates look to build on their successful performances at last month's European Championships by challenging for the team title at next month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"To win in Glasgow will all be down to our preparation as a team," Downie said. "A lot of the team are coming back from the recent success at the European Championships and know exactly how much work needs to be put in every day to enable us to experience success. I know the team always aims high, but when we go out to compete, all we can control is our routines and how well we perform them. If we put in the hard work now, there is no reason why the success can't continue."
Downie at the 2014 Europeans
Downie, a member of the silver medal-winning English team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, is the only member of England's team for Glasgow to have competed at previous Games. England and the other nations which comprise the United Kingdom compete independently at the Games.
Also named to the English team for Glasgow were Claudia Fragapane, Ruby Harrold, Kelly Simm and two-time Olympian Hannah Whelan.
Downie, Fraganane, Harrold and Whelan were members of the silver medal-winning British team at last month's European Championships in Sofia.
Peak performances in Sofia, Glasgow and this fall's world championships in Nanning have been part of Downie's plan all year, she said.
"From the start of 2014 I knew it had the potential to be a jam-packed year, so I started to mentally prepare myself for that around Christmastime," Downie said. "I thought the first half of the year would be the easiest, as that would be when I was most fresh. After the Europeans I had to allow myself to come down, as there would be no time between Commonwealth Games and the world championships to take a break."
Downie said she is comfortable with the pacing of the Commonwealth Games in relation to Europeans and worlds.
"I think the Games sit well, as they are right in the middle of Euros and Worlds," said Downie, whose younger sister, Ellie Downie, won the junior vault title in Sofia. "Sometimes you can let yourself drop too far after a major championships and it's hard to get back. With these Games being put in the middle, it firstly allowed us the chance to compete because of the time frames between each event. And it helps keep us motivated and working hard, because straight after one event, the preparation starts towards the next one."
As Downie prepares to help the English team challenge defending champion Australia in Glasgow, she is also ready to encourage her teammates to make the most of their Games experience.
"The Commonwealth Games is a great experience as it's not just a gymnastics competition, but it's a multi-sport event," Downie told IG. "It'll enable us to meet lots of other great athletes, learn about other sports and experience life in an athletes' village. The advice I would give is to just enjoy every moment! These Games are special, as they only come round once every four years, so make the most of the experience, in and out the gym."
Read an interview with Becky Downie and her younger sister, 2014 European junior vault champion Ellie Downie, in the June 2014 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and read "European Brilliance," an interview with Ruby Harrold, in the September 2013 issue.
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