Sapphire Gymnastics star Gabby Jupp admits it was a nerve-wracking experience as she returned to the GB team for the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships – her first major event since her potentially career-threatening knee injury.
Gabby suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage while competing in 2013, but she showed guts and determination to help Britain to sixth place in the team final in Nanning, China early this month.
“It was extremely scary because I haven’t competed a lot since coming back from injury, but it felt great to be back on the competition floor with the rest of the team,” said Gabby. “It’s a dream come true to have competed at a World Championships.”
The 17-year-old, who trains at Sapphire under the tutelage of coach Steve Price, showed a few signs of rustiness in qualifying, but delivered a confident display in the final.
She said: “I was very disappointed after qualifications because I had a few mistakes, but I was really happy that the team qualified to the final in fourth.
“I was really pleased with my team final performance; It felt amazing to have contributed three clean routines to the team.
“The atmosphere was incredible – the Chinese love their gymnastics so it was pretty loud in the arena. “
Despite her excellent display, Gabby admits that it wasn’t all plain sailing as she was slightly hampered by the knee which had kept her out of competition for so long.
“My knee was quite stiff after a 13-hour flight which gave me a slight aggravation in the first few days of training.
“There have been plenty of low moments, especially when I picked up other minor injuries as a result of re-introducing my body to impact.
“But I have had lots of support from my coaches and medical team who encouraged me through the hard times.”
Now, though, Gabby is looking forward to the future.
“I have no more competitions left this year so my main focus is on learning new skills for next year,” said Gabby. “My aim is to compete at the British Championships next year and I would really love to make the European team.”