Great Britain were the top qualifiers for the team final at the 2016 European Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland’s capital Bern today.
Ruby Harrold, Gabby Jupp, Claudia Fragapane and the Downie sisters, Ellie and Becky, all contributed to Britain’s total of 173.363 points, finishing 0.102 clear of the field.
Russia’s Kseniia Afanaseva, Angelina Melnikova, Aliya Mustafina, Seda Tutkhalian and Daria Spiridonova were second with 173.261 points.
Switzerland’s Caterina Barloggio, Thea Brogli, Ilaria Kaeslin, Stefanie Siegenthaler and Giulia Steingruber rounded out the top three for the final on Saturday (June 4) with 166.128 points.
"Qualification is often the hardest competition and to have placed in top position with improvements still to make is a great start to these championships - I’m very proud of all the girls," said Becky Downie.
"Today was all about the team and we can look forward to Saturday’s final.
"We’ve never won gold before so this gives us a lot of belief but we know it won’t be easy - we can’t wait to get out and compete again."
Romania, Germany, France, Italy and Hungary completed the list of eight qualifiers.
The competition also acted as qualification for the apparatus finals, scheduled to take place on Sunday (June 5).
Mutstafina was the top qualifier in the uneven bars and beam with scores of 15.166 points and 14.733 respectively.
Steingruber set the standard in the vault with 15.433 points, while Fragapane did so in the floor exercise with 15.000.
Action in Bern is due to continue tomorrow with the junior all-around final.