30 July 09:34 (BST)

Determined DOWNIE (GBR) hopes for further Glasgow gymnastics glory after battling back from injury

UPDATE: An update to this story was published on Wednesday 1 August

GLASGOW - In April 2017 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Becky DOWNIE (GBR) was attempting to win a medal on the uneven bars at a fourth consecutive European championships. Champion in 2014 and 2016, and silver medallist in 2015, her quest ended with an awkward fall and an injury to her right elbow.

"I had to have a complete reconstruction of the ligament," DOWNIE said.

"I've been out of competition for such a long time, and I have new routines, so my targets are not medals necessarily, more just trying to go through my routines the best I can. They're not fully where I want them to be yet, but they're going in the right direction so I'm happy.

"It's really nice to be back and it's exciting that we have a home country championships, so it should be fun."

The Glasgow 2018 gymnastics venue, the SSE Hydro, holds fond memories for DOWNIE. It was there that she won two gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games for England and, in 2015, world championship bronze, Great Britain's best ever result in the women's team event in that competition.

At European level, the British women's team have consistently been among the medals since 2010, taking silver in 2014 and 2016 behind Russia, who will again be the team to beat this time.

"It'll be interesting to see what the other teams put together," DOWNIE said. "The Netherlands have been improving over the last couple of years. Their artistry is always very noticeable. I think France will be very strong this year."

At 26, DOWNIE is the most senior member of the team, having first competed for Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. "I've always loved the sport," she said of her longevity. "As long as I'm still competitive and doing well, I don't see any reason to give it up."

Determination obviously runs in the family. Younger sister Ellie DOWNIE, the 2017 European champion in the individual all-around (a category not being contested this year), is also on the road back to full fitness after injury. "It's been a bit of a rocky year for both of us," Becky said. "But we seem to be coming out the other side of it now, and doing well."

CNS sb/lm/pp/tb

CNS content is available free of charge to all media. No copyright restrictions apply.