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Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 23:11 UK

Shock fall for Tweddle at Worlds

WORLD ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 13-18 October Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, the red button and BBC Sport website (UK only)

By Ollie Williams
BBC Sport at the O2 Arena, London

Beth Tweddle on bars

Tweddle slips during bars routine

British star Beth Tweddle squandered a medal chance as she fell from the uneven bars in qualifying at the World Gymnastics Championships in London.

The former world champion managed to finish her routine, but had not done enough to make the final.

"I just don't know what went wrong," she told BBC Sport. "I've no excuses."

Tweddle, 24, did at least reach the floor final at the O2 Arena, and Becky Downie scraped into the all-around final alongside Rebecca Wing.

Tweddle's fall from the bars brought gasps from the crowd, the largest of the competition so far, and her score of 13.850 placed her 16th, well outside the qualification places.

It was the Liverpudlian's second error in qualifying, having stumbled at the start of her floor performance.

However, she recovered to record a score of 14.075 in that event, behind Russia's Anna Myzdrikova, China's Sui Lu and Romanian star Ana Porgras.

Rebecca Wing
Wing just did enough in her home city to make the all-around final

"The bars routine felt fantastic and I couldn't have done any more going into this," said a distraught Tweddle.

"It wasn't difficult, it was my own skill I made up myself. I don't know why I came off, but I'm sure I'll find out when I see it on video.

"I had no injuries or complications either, but it obviously wasn't meant to be. I've just got to go back and work harder for next season.

"I've got to look forward to floor now - hopefully the first tumble will land a bit better in the final, but the rest was pretty clean."

Tweddle's future in the sport has been uncertain since she narrowly missed a medal at the Beijing Olympics last year.

But, asked if her results at the World Championships may determine whether she presses on to London 2012 before retiring, she insisted it was too early to decide.

"I have to take it year on year," she said.

"I'm gutted now and the first thing you say to yourself is: why put yourself through it? But you can't give up just because of one mistake."

Tweddle's floor final will be on Sunday, between 1330 and 1630 BST.

Marissa King

King delighted with vault

Porgras, just 16, put in a superb display in three of the four events, only struggling on the vault, and looked an early favourite for the all-around title - awarded on Friday to the gymnast with the best overall display.

But she was outdone late in the day by US gymnast and fellow 16-year-old Rebecca Bross, who leads the all-around with a score of 57.400, ahead of Porgras' 57.300.

Australia's Lauren Mitchell lies in third place overall, with China's Deng Linlin fourth ahead of another US star, Bridget Sloan.

Russia's Ksenia Semenova, expected to challenge for a medal on Friday, fell during her floor routine to qualify down in 10th.

The top 24 gymnasts go through to the all-around final but, for individual apparatus finals, only the top eight qualify.

Tweddle was joined in her qualifying session by fellow Briton Marissa King, who failed to reach the vault final, finishing 10th.

But British Gymnastics will be pleased to see two competitors through to the all-around finals in Downie and Wing.

Wing, the first British competitor to appear on Wednesday, qualified 19th, one place ahead of Downie.

Wing, 17, performed well in her opening floor event, recovered from a mistake in the vault, and delivered assured performances on the uneven bars and balance beam to record an overall score of 53.875.

OLLIE WILLIAMS BLOG

The Londoner said: "I was especially pleased with the floor and bars, they were really good, clean routines. There was a step on the vault but I didn't fall and stayed on my feet."

Downie, also 17, narrowly avoided calamity as she fell from the entire gymnastics podium following her balance beam dismount, somehow performing a backward roll and landing on her feet when she could easily have suffered an injury.

That affected her score but not her confidence as she came back to qualify with a score of 53.775.

"I'm a little bit disappointed with bars and beam but hopefully we'll iron out those mistakes," said Downie.

"My dismounts aren't normally a problem but they were today.

"My dismount over-rotated on the beam, which was a new one for me. Hopefully on Friday I'll manage to stay on the podium at least."

The World Championships in London are the first chance for any of Britain's current gymnasts to compete on home soil at this level. They were last held in the UK in 1993, in Birmingham.



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