Moon: Uncertainty made squad stronger

18 July 2012 / 19:21

Team GB's rhythmic gymnastics group coach Sarah Moon believes the uncertainty over the team's participation at the London Olympics has only made them stronger.

The six-strong team of captain Rachel Smith, Louisa Pouli, Francesca Fox, Lynne Hutchison, Jade Faulkner and Georgina Cassar had looked set to miss out on the Games in January.

They missed the agreed score set by British Gymnastics in the group all-around qualifying competition at the test event, meaning a nomination would not be submitted to the British Olympic Association for a host nation place. But they appealed that decision and independent arbitrator Sports Resolutions UK found in their favour in March.

After all those trials and tribulations, Moon senses that her squad are tighter than ever as they prepare to become the first British team to compete in the discipline at an Olympics Games.

She said: "It's been a real whirlwind of a year with lots of ups and downs and lots of hoops to jump through. But we are here and we are going and we are extremely proud to be representing Great Britain and very excited to be a part of Team GB.

"The events that happened in January were very, very stressful.

"We had a very stressful six weeks and we had a lot of sleepless nights, but I think in a very ironic way it has made me and the girls stronger as individuals, stronger as a group and much more determined to succeed at this competition and to develop their life skills and how to manage yourself in these situations.

"They have been a great credit to themselves and the sport."

The squad competed at the European Championships in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia at the start of June, where they finished 16th, but had to miss a World Cup event in Belarus last week due to Pouli being ill. But Moon insists everyone will be fit and raring to go when their competition begins on August 9 at Wembley Arena.

"We have had a few little issues with illness recently," she said. "We were going great guns, everything was rolling along smoothly but just a couple of girls have been ill which has slowed us down a bit but the other girls are training hard. They get over these things and bounce back quickly."