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European Gymnastics Championships: Great Britain’s women finish second

Great Britain’s women missed out on defending their European Gymnastics Championship team title after taking silver in Sunday’s final in Rimini.

The team of Becky Downie, Alice Kinsella, Abigail Martin, Ruby Evans and Georgia-Mae Fenton finished on 162.16 points, with Italy taking gold with 164.162 and bronze going to France on 158.796.

GB held a narrow advantage over the hosts after the vault but despite a strong performance from Downie, who had the leading score of 14.633 on the uneven bars, they slipped behind their rivals at the halfway stage.

Italy extended their advantage on the beam with all-around champion Manila Esposito helping their cause and although Kinsella, the all-around bronze medallist, and European debutants Evans and Martin cut the lead with strong floor performances, it wasn’t enough.

It means the GB women finish with three medals after earlier successes for Kinsella and Fenton, who took bronze in the bars on Saturday.

They came into the event after the news broke of the departure of David Kenwright, the British Gymnastics head coach for women’s artistic gymnastics who has stepped down just three months before the Paris Olympics.