Sport Claudia Fragapane thinks Strictly experience has made her a better gymnast

13:15  19 april  2017
13:15  19 april  2017 Source:   Press Association

Sam Oldham to head up British team in Cluj

  Sam Oldham to head up British team in Cluj Former Olympic bronze medallist Sam Oldham will lead an inexperienced British men's team at the European Gymnastics Championships in Cluj next week. Oldham is joined by newly-crowned British all-around champion Joe Fraser plus Frank Baines, Courtney Tulloch and Dom Cunningham in the five-man squad for the event.Rio medallists Max Whitlock and Louis Smith are taking time off from competition while fellow Rio team member Brinn Bevan is struggling for form.

Claudia Fragapane has vowed to bring plenty of passion to Strictly Come Dancing as she fights for a place in next week’s final. “I think it will make me a better gymnast . I absolutely loved this experience and to go back I’m going to be more hungry to really go for it and get a medal in 2020.”

Claudia Fragapane relaxing in her home near Bristol. “I feel it’s more pressure for me now. People are thinking , ‘ She ’s done Rio, she ’s done Strictly ’. Fragapane describes her TV experience as “amazing”, and remembers her lunch dates with Louise Redknapp with particular fondness.

Claudia Fragapane believes her 'Strictly' experience will boost her chances at the European Gymnastics Championships: Rio Olympic Games 2016 - Preview Day Four © PA WIRE Rio Olympic Games 2016 - Preview Day Four

Claudia Fragapane may have shrugged off the 'Strictly' sequins but she hopes her successful stint on the BBC's hit dancing show will give an extra dimension to her return to international gymnastics.

The 19-year-old will contest the floor and beam apparatus at this week's European Championships in Cluj having made a low-key comeback at the British Nationals last month.

Fragapane admitted she missed the sport during her high-profile break in the wake of the Rio Olympics – but believes her experience in the ballroom has turned her into a better gymnast.

Claudia Fragapane to spearhead British women's challenge at Europeans

  Claudia Fragapane to spearhead British women's challenge at Europeans Claudia Fragapane heads up a four-woman British team at the European Gymnastics Championships in Cluj next week. Three-time European silver medallist Fragapane returns to major competition and will be joined by newly-crowned British all-around champion Becky Downie alongside Ellie Downie and 16-year-old Georgia-Mae Fenton, who makes her senior major championships debut.Olympic and World Cup bronze medallist Amy Tinkler was a notable absentee from the squad. The 17-year-old had been struggling with a calf injury since the start of the year, which restricted her at the recent British Championships.

The Olympic gymnast , 19, and her partner AJ Pritchard, 22, were left in tears after they were Emotional: Claudia Fragapane and her partner AJ Pritchard became the twelfth couple voted out of Talking to Tess about her magical Strictly experience , Claudia gushed: 'I can't believe I made it this

Strictly semi-finalist Claudia Fragapane has revealed that, despite the intense training regime she is subjected to on the dancing show, it's still a pleasant break from her life as a professional gymnast . The 19-year-old - who competed in the Rio Olympics this summer - is one of the last remaining

Fragapane told Press Association Sport: "I've always been seen as a very powerful and strong gymnast but I have perhaps lacked a bit of elegance and that is an element I have learned.

"Although it was something different there are a lot of things in terms of technique I can take away from the experience and hopefully that will help me perform even better in Romania.

"It was nice to have a break after Rio – you train so hard for it and you want to rest your body and your brain – but I missed the sport more than I expected and it is great to be back."

Fragapane is one of a four-strong British women's team taking part at the Championships, the first to be held in Romania since the inaugural event in Bucharest in 1957.

The country's success in the sport has dwindled since Nadia Comaneci lit up Montreal in 1976 with her string of perfect 10s, with the Romanian women's team having failed to even qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Claudia Fragapane thinks Strictly experience has made her a better gymnast

  Claudia Fragapane thinks Strictly experience has made her a better gymnast Claudia Fragapane may have shrugged off the 'Strictly' sequins but she hopes her successful stint on the BBC's hit dancing show will give an extra dimension to her return to international gymnastics. The 19-year-old will contest the floor and beam apparatus at this week's European Championships in Cluj having made a low-key comeback at the British Nationals last month.Fragapane admitted she missed the sport during her high-profile break in the wake of the Rio Olympics – but believes her experience in the ballroom has turned her into a better gymnast.

GETTY. VICTORY DANCE: Claudia hopes Strictly can push her to Olympic gold. The gymnast failed to land a medal in Rio this summer but she is still hoping for success at Tokyo in 2020. Claudia said: “I’m taking all this experience . I’ve grown from this and I have been loving it.

Fragapane insists her gymnastics experience won't help her on the dance floor. Why is Claudia Fragapane doing Strictly Come Dancing? It was amazing to be among all the best gymnasts and athletes in the world!

But having lured three-time Olympic champion Catalina Ponor out of retirement, along with successful coaches Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, expectation among the hosts is high.

Fragapane herself will focus on the beam and an unashamedly Strictly-inspired floor routine before switching back to all-around with an eye on the World Championships in Montreal in October.

Fragapane added: "Initially it was a bit of a shock when I came back and I had to rebuild my stamina, so I concentrated on the two apparatus in the build-up to the Euros.

"Afterwards, I'm going to go back to all-around and get my vault and bars up to scratch looking ahead to the rest of this year and further ahead towards Tokyo."

Ellie Downie takes European medal tally to four with silver in the floor final .
Ellie Downie completed her hugely successful European Championships campaign by claiming a silver medal in the women's floor final in Cluj.Ellie Downie completed her hugely successful European Championships campaign by claiming a silver medal in the women's floor final in Cluj.

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