After struggling with disappointments in the past few years, British gymnast Rebecca Downie got her redemption by winning the gold medal on uneven bars today in Sofia, beating Olympic and European bars champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia.

“Every final I have missed out [on a medal] has made it harder to pick myself up and keep coming back but moments like today prove it was all worth it.” Downie told BBC.

The British gymnast failed to make her second Olympic team in 2012. Last year, she fell on bars during the Europeans’ and Worlds’ event final.

Downie’s medal is her first gold at a major international competition.

The 22 year old gymnast is the first British female gymnast other than Beth Tweddle to win a European title.

Downie’s teammate Rebecca Tunney missed out on  medal by only 0.033 points. Tunney who had her first individual European final in Sofia, lost to first year senior Daria Spiridonova of Russia.

Sophie Scheder of Germany finished in 5th place with score 14.733. Larisa Iordache who is the first Romanian gymnast to make the uneven bars final at a European championship since Steliana Nistor in 2008, placed 6th.

With score of 14.400, Kim Bui of Germany came in 7th place, while Spain’s Roxana Popa finished last with score 14.266.

Written by Gigi Khazback Farid


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