Home Our News Flying Laura's Blog: Silver Lining!

Flying Laura's Blog: Silver Lining!

It only feels like yesterday that the British team were at the N.I.A. in Birmingham competing at the World Championships!

The competition kicked off on Thursday 17th November with the preliminary round and for me, my main goal was to finish in the top eight and qualify for Sunday’s final. As a team, the girls were aiming to qualify for the team finals the following evening. We were also hoping to secure two Olympic spots for Great Britain by qualifying two of us into the final.

I felt confident going into the competition as my training in the arena had been really positive and my preparations had all gone to plan. I had no regrets with my plans in the build-up to the competition and I was ready for it. The nerves had been building all week, but I did feel in control of them!

The four of us were in the first flight of the day competing alongside Spain, Belarus and Columbia. I was the 9th competitor to compete and third on out of the British girls, so I had a bit of time to get used to the environment and get my thoughts together! Walking up to the trampoline I remember thinking, “this is it, it’s my turn to compete. Stay calm and stay in control.”

GALLAGHER_Laura__GBR_Immediately after I had finished both routines I felt a bit numb. I was relieved to have got through both at only my second ever major championship as a senior, but I felt really disappointed with myself as I knew I could have done so much better. I think at the time I definitely felt it went much worse than it actually did!

All the British girls competed well and everyone completed their routines, so we had our fingers crossed that we would be in the team finals, but we had to wait through another six flights to find out our individual positions and our team position. That was very tough!

After 3 flights Kat was in second and I was in third. Although I knew there was nothing more I could do, my stomach was in knots and I couldn’t keep still; I really wanted to be in the final! I was in 8th place when the last flight began, but we knew it was going to be close as a couple of the American girls were strong and capable of scoring really well! Kat was safe in the final in 7th, qualifying one Olympic place for Team GB, but I had to wait right until the end! I was sat with my boyfriend when I was just pipped by an excruciating 0.15! A double whammy….0.15 off the final AND getting a second Olympic spot for Team GB! Ouch.

However, the girls qualified ourselves a spot in the team final! Only the top three of the four of us could compete in the finals, so I knew I would get another chance to compete my vol! I think we were all so excited to be in this as it was the first time Team GB had qualified for a number of years and for the three of us competing it was our first ever World Championship final.

It was definitely difficult bringing myself up from the disappointment of my individual result, mainly because the whole wait and frustrations with my performance was so draining. I put it out of my head and was able to focus on the team finals and enjoy that.

I had an easy morning as the finals didn’t start until 6. It was a great experience; the stadium was much fuller, the BBC were there and we got to compete as a team and not against each other which was a nice change! It was a different kind of pressure compared to normal as I didn’t want to let the team down. It was exciting and before we went out we had just decided to enjoy the experience.

I watched Emma complete her routine and before I knew it I was on the trampoline ready to compete. My routine started off really well, but I had to change the routine a little toward the end as I was close to the side and needed to complete it. I finished, as did Kat, and the last person to compete was Olympic and World medallist Karen Cockburn from Canada. She finished and we waited for the results to see if we had bronze or silver…then cheered very loudly! We had won a silver medal!

Overall, I am pleased with the Championships. It was a brilliant experience and there are so many positives to take away. Yes, I still get frustrated and disappointed when I look back on my routines, but I think that is OK because those feelings make the best motivators. There is just one Olympic place available and there are five of us training for it. It is definitely going to be tough as we are all of the same standard, but I am really excited about where my journey will take me over the next few months and through all the hard work I most of all want to enjoy it.

Laura Gallagher is a 21-year-old trampolinist who trains at Strode Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre. Born and bred in Somerset, Laura will be hoping to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games. You can watch her in action by clicking here!