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London legacy is in evidence

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

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During London 2012, talk of legacy was as ubiquitous as images of Boris Johnson or Lord Coe – sometimes both at the same time – on one's television screen.

And, while it can never be an exact science, one of the greatest legacies of those Olympics – from a sporting performance aspect, anyway – has been the way Britain's female gymnasts have gone from strength to strength.

In Beth Tweddle, British gymnastics had a once-in-a-generation icon. Yet, since Tweddle's retirement, and with the memory of the four medals Britain won in London now almost two years old, a new generation is emerging.

At the European Championships this week, Britain's women qualified for the team final ahead of reigning champions Romania. The five-strong British squad topped the standings in Bulgaria with 172.147 points, while their rivals scored 171.130.

And the continuation of Britain's gymnastic success has firm roots in the West Country. Ruby Harrold, from the Academy of Gymnastics in Portishead, and newcomer Claudia Fragapane, of the Bristol Hawks club in Easton, are among the squad that will compete in today's team final. Fragapane, who is 16, also qualified for tomorrow's individual finals in both floor and vault – an outstanding achievement for a debutant.

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