Gymnastics: No injury will stop Beth Tweddle as she seeks gymnastics gold for Team GB


It was only three months ago that gymnastics star Beth Tweddle had keyhole surgery on her knee and considered her Olympic dream over.

Today, however, she has her eye on medals after a remarkable reversal of fortune.

Tweddle completed a near flawless uneven bars routine in qualifying over the weekend to take the British women into this afternoon’s team final for the first time since 1984.

Her routine also secured her place in the uneven bars final next Monday — where she has high hopes of improving on the fourth place she achieved in Beijing four years ago.

She said: “It was the best feeling in the world, I can’t even put it into words, I was unbelievably nervous. I have not been able to sleep for the past three weeks. I am just pleased to be here. Twelve weeks ago I didn’t think I would be walking into this arena so it’s just the icing on the cake to reach the final.”

In April, Tweddle, 27, complained of a sore knee and a scan sent to a specialist in Italy revealed torn tissue. She was brought to London from her home in Cheshire for emergency keyhole surgery. After the procedure on a Friday, she went straight into rehab on Monday, working on the knee from 9am until 6pm every day.

Defying the odds, Tweddle was soon back competing and won an Olympic trial on the uneven bars in Ipswich last month, after which she was declared fit for the Great Britain squad.

She was so scared of missing out on a place that she even slept with a cold pack over her knee at night to prevent swelling.

Tweddle was in a petrol station when she got the call to say she had been selected for Team GB. She said: “To get that call to say you’re on the team is a massive relief. I was getting petrol with one of my friends when I heard. We knew we had a two-hour slot but I was just going crazy waiting around the house —there was a sigh of relief and then I thought who can I ring?”

Tweddle has undergone around six operations on her feet for impact injuries during her 20-year career. She has three world, six European and seven British titles to her name, but this is her last chance of Olympic glory.  She said: “You’ve got to believe that medal can be yours.”

Tweddle hopes the home crowd will drive her to victory. She said: “They give you that bit of adrenaline and hype and you want to be able to do that routine for yourself, but also for them.

“When you’re abroad you’ve got a few people in the audience — your mum and dad, your other competitors, your other team mates. Here, everyone’s going to know it’s happening and the whole country are going to be behind us, which makes it all the more special.”

Tweddle has previously called London “definitely my last Olympics”, but has not made any firm retirement plans. She said: “Usually, after two weeks’ holiday, I’m itching to get back.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album