Countdown to Rio: Gymnast Claudia Fragapane

06 August 2014 / 09:35

Home nations enjoyed their most successful Commonwealth Games ever in Glasgow. But who were the stars of the Games, whose targets have now been reset on the road to Rio - with the Olympics just two years away?

She's the pocket rocket heading for the stratosphere - meet gymnast Claudia Fragapane, all 4ft 6ins and six-and-a-half-stone of her, who enjoyed a life-changing week in Glasgow.

The 16-year old won four gold medals to become the most successful English woman at the Commonwealth Games in 84 years.

It's been a breakthrough few months for the teenager, who made her senior debut at the European Championships, where she was part of a British team that claimed silver.

But few expected her success in Glasgow as she won the all-around title, golds on the vault and floor and was part of the triumphant English women's team.

Her floor return was world-class, incredibly considering she only finished fifth in that discipline at the British Championships earlier this year.

"It's been an amazing experience, especially being part of the team and becoming such good friends with the girls, we are all so close," said Fragapane, who will receive her GCSE results in just a few weeks.  "All the attention has been a bit overwhelming but the support has been amazing too. 

"I knew the level of competition was very high, so I really didn't expect to win anything. It certainly gives you confidence for the future but you can't just expect to win now.

"I've got a few days off and then it's back to training hard again. I feel like I am ready for the next step and hopefully I'll get picked for Rio and become successful in that."

But before Rio, there is the small matter of October's World Championships in China - and Fragapane has already lifted her sights and readjusted expectations.

"I’m expecting to get to the floor final at the Worlds and then hopefully get in the top three," she added.

Fragapane's choreography for the floor routine was hailed by many as groundbreaking but coach Helen Potter insists she's just being herself.

"She's dynamic and bubbly and we wanted to show that off," she said. 

"Her floor routine is world-class but she has got a lot of elements that we didn't show off in Glasgow because we want to add things gradually and over time."

Other stars of Glasgow 2014 looking to travel on the road to Rio

Ross Murdoch (Swimming)

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