The first ever British gymnast to become World Champion, Beth Tweddle, is backing the city to provide a perfect finale to a packed year of sport in the UK – and believes the British team can continue their golden performances seen at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships against the world’s best.

Tweddle, who was formerly part of City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club and now runs her own gymnastics clubs through Beth Tweddle Gymnastics in various locations, knows well the demands of the sport’s most fiercely contested competitions, having been selected for Team GB at three different Olympic Games and winning bronze on home soil in 2012. She has fond memories of competing at the World Championships – shining on the uneven bars to become World Champion in 2006 and 2010, either side of a 2009 World Championships gold medal on floor.

With today marking fifty days to go until the competition officially gets underway at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena, and with high hopes for the Great Britain Team, Tweddle reflected on her special relationship with the city and with the sport – and believes Liverpool to be the perfect choice to host such a prestigious

“What I’m most looking forward to about the Championships is the whole atmosphere I know Liverpool will create. It’s a city that is so passionate about sport, with gymnastics fans and locals who enjoy sport, and we’ve staged the British Championships here every year since 2011. There is such a legacy for the sport here, so it feels right for the World Championships to be in Liverpool.

“And for me personally, gymnastics has been my life and Liverpool is where I spent many years training, so it’s really special to be able to combine the two. To me, what better way to inspire youngsters to want to be active and now you’re now going to have the world’s best gymnasts on your doorstep qualifying for Paris 2024. It’s going to be a completely different level to anything seen in the city before.

“Gymnastics has had an amazing summer. I think after the turbulent couple of years with the pandemic, it was nice for gymnasts to look forward to having an event at home
[Commonwealth Games].

“Just having crowds is such a huge difference, because last year it was all behind closed doors. I can’t imagine having competed like that. To see us take so many medals, the hard work is obviously paying off, which is amazing to see.”

Last week’s draw revealed intriguing matchups for both Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams – and Tweddle enthused as to the home team’s chances of rounding off an already spectacular year for the sport in style:

“It’s definitely an exciting draw. In the men’s competition you’ve got four big teams in the first three rounds in China, Japan, Great Britain and the USA but the Ukrainian team could be up there too. And as a spectator, you can’t go wrong with the women’s qualification with the main contenders all competing in different subdivisions, so audiences at every session will get to see the world’s best gymnasts in action. The British team will go last which means they, and the crowds, will know exactly what scores they need to reach the team and individual finals – which is always fantastic to watch.

“It’s such an exciting team – the likes of Joe Fraser and Alice Kinsella we have all watched progress through the ranks from a young age, it’s actually quite emotional when we see where we’ve come from and look where we are now. I think the strength of the British Team right now is you’ve got the depth within the team – you’re not necessarily relying on a couple of specialists for big scores, you’re relying on the whole team collectively.”

The World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 will be one of the largest
international sporting events ever to be held in the city. 550 gymnasts from 75 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena from 29 October to 6 November 2022.

Tickets are available at starting at £30 for
adults and £10 for children and other concessions.

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