The England team won gold in women’s artistic gymnastics at Arena Birmingham.
In close competition until the final rotation, England held off Australia – who won silver – and Canada won bronze.
Claudia Fragapane delivered a scintillating routine on the top floor that drew cheers from a capacity crowd before she fell on 18-year-old Ondine Achampong to keep her composure on her final jump to secure the victory by 3,150 points.
But it was Fragapane, a gymnast at the opposite end of her career, who rocked the house with an emotional floor routine which, although failing to land her a place in the individual final, proved a fitting start. of his career at the Commonwealth Games. .
Fragapane shared a lingering hug with 27-year-old Kelly Simm, who also won a medal in Glasgow in 2014, and, with a retirement speech in the air, she admitted: “It’s definitely our last Commonwealth Games because we’re not going to last another four years.
“I had four major injuries, so just coming back and starting again was my main focus. I shouldn’t have come back so soon but I pushed myself to get here. I’ll take it one step at a time – I have to be careful with this fragile body now.
As well as the battle to beat the Australians, who were just 0.05 points clear before the final rotation, the emerging narrative became a battle between England team-mates to secure the two places per nation available to the all-around and individual competition finals.
Birmingham-born Alice Kinsella topped the all-around standings at 54.450, 0.3 clear of second-placed Achampong with Georgia-Mae Fenton, who finished fourth, the unlucky to be eliminated.
But Fenton, the defending champion, will contest the uneven bars final after posting the best score of 14.0 ahead of Achampong, who was hugely impressive on her debut in senior international competition.
Kinsella, the 2019 European champion, was second best on beam behind Australia’s Georgia Godwin, with Fenton taking third and with him England’s final runner-up on Achampong due to an execution score higher.
Kinsella also had the top score with 13.450 on floor while, where Achampong will join her in the final, Fragapane finished well off the bottom with 12.450.
Scotland’s Shannon Archer enjoyed a successful evening, scoring the highest score in the vault qualifications with 13.5 and also reaching the horizontal bars final, while she will be joined by compatriot Cara Kennedy in the all-around final.