Nerveless Georgia-Mae Fenton defends Commonwealth title

Nerveless Georgia-Mae Fenton defends Commonwealth title

Gravesend's Georgia-Mae Fenton defended her Commonwealth Games title in nerveless style to put her mixed emotions from her first night bow in Birmingham.

Fenton helped England win team gold on Saturday but was left smarting after failing to qualify for the women's all-around title 24 hours later.

However, she produced a brilliant display on the uneven bars to edge out Australia's Georgia Godwin and South Africa's Caitlin Rooskrantz into the minor medals.

“I’ve been trying to work on my all-around and be more consistent, so I’d loved another chance at that, but to come away with another gold, I’m super happy," said Fenton, who will compete again in Tuesday's beam final, and who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

"I came in confident, strong, and wanted to do my normal routine and that was enough.

"I love these big occasions; it's why you do all the hard work to compete when the lights are on you and the pressure is on.

“It’s the work and preparation at home that leads to this, the main thing for any competition is to trust yourself. I’m trying to do that more and it’s really working.”

Arena Birmingham has been packed for every session and English gymnasts have duly rewarded the home fans by dominating - they've won seven of the nine gold medals awarded so far.

But Fenton stalks the floor with her headphones clamped on, ignoring the melee unfolding around her.

“I listen to quite hardcore hip-hop, that gets me in the zone," she added.

"I like to stay within myself and not focus on other things going on. I listen to music constantly, mainly old school rap like Dr Dre.

“I keep a close eye on certain things and know what to look out for. I look at the scores but don’t focus on them, that helps me stay in my zone.”

Fenton will look for more success in the beam before turning her attention to the European Sports Championships in Munich later this month, with the longer term aim the World Championships in Liverpool later in the year.

The Europeans represent a step up from Birmingham, but she believes she's in shape to contest again.

“I need to clean up my execution a little bit," she added.

"There’s a connection I can do but that’s an in the moment thing if one of the moves is good enough. If I was to do that sort of routine, it should at least be final at the Europeans, then whatever happens, happens.”

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