Simm ends talks of retirement after gymnastics team gold


Kelly Simm insists she’s not quite ready to end her international career just yet.

But if that’s really all for the 27-year-old gymnast from Hampshire, she certainly made it a golden farewell.

Simm teamed up with Claudia Fragapane, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Alice Kinsella and Ondine Achampong as England defended their women’s team gymnastics title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

She was just 19 when she made her international debut at the Glasgow Games, where she also won team gold.

She also won team silver and bronze on beam at the Gold Coast years ago – but admitted this one would take on a bit of weight.

“Being a part of this, getting all this amazing support from a local crowd, with friends and family watching, is amazing,” she said.

“Claudia and I were together in Glasgow and it seems like forever, sharing that moment with her is something I will never forget. It’s emotional to think about it, it gives you goosebumps.

“I’m not calling retirement yet, I’m still in reserve for the European Championships next month, so I’m going back to the gym to prepare now.

“I think it’s fair to say that’s it for me and the Commonwealth Games, having represented England three times is something I will always cherish.

“Claudia and I have had incredible careers and eight years between our first competition and today is a very long time for a gymnast.

“We’re just going to take this moment and everything we’ve overcome to get here.”

The men of England won their tag team title by a landslide 24 hours earlier, but this fight between England and Australia went straight to the wire.

Going into the final rotation, with the Australian gymnasts on floor and the English on vault, the hosts had a lead of just 0.05 points.

However, Kinsella – who hails from Sutton Coldfield – and Achampong nailed their efforts to also highlight why they will be among the favorites for more medals this week.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished. Being part of the team, with all the juniors coming in, it wasn’t my best day, but I have to remind myself that being part of the team is a big achievement,” added Simm.

“Our impact on the younger members of the team puts things into perspective. It’s really special and we have to remember to keep our heads up all the time.

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