Ellie Downie ‘really geared up’ for big 2018 as she targets Commonwealth Games, World Championships and European Championships


Ellie Downie is “really geared up” for a big 2018.

The 18-year-old made British gymnastics history this year, by becoming the very first British woman to win an all-around title on the international stage, at the European Championships.

Her historic success was recognised at the Nottingham Post Sports Awards 2017, as she won the Sportswoman of the Year prize, sponsored by Ikano Bank.

And to complete a brilliant night for the teenager, she was also named The Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year at a ceremony on London.

Ellie was in the capital to receive her Young Sportswoman of the Year award, with her mum Helen and stepdad Mark attending the Post awards at the East Midlands Conference Centre.

“She’ll be made up. She works really hard and this year has been amazing for her, so to win this is the icing on the cake,” said Helen, talking about the Post’s Sportswoman of the Year accolade.

Helen Downie and her partner Mark Giles collected the Sportswoman of the Year award on behalf of Ellie Downie. They are pictured with Simon Ripton, representing sponsor Ikano Bank, and Richard Whitehead

“She won Young Sportsperson of the Year tonight as well, so she’s had a really good night.”

To win the Post prize Ellie beat off stiff competition from Nottingham-born cricketer Jenny Gunn, who helped England win the Women’s World Cup at Lord’s this summer, and Great British speed skater Elise Christie, who won triple gold at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam early in 2017.

As well as winning the all-around title at the European Championships, Ellie also qualified for all five individual finals, going on to win silver medals on the vault and floor and bronze on the uneven bars.

Her stunning success on the international stage is made even more impressive because she went into the competition with a heel injury.

“She picked up a slight injury at the British (Championships) and didn’t know if she’d be fit enough to compete, but she was given the option of having an operation before the Europeans or afterwards,” added Helen.

“She really wanted to go for it, so made the decision to have the operation afterwards, and it was the right decision.

Ellie Downie

“She’s made up to have won that.

“She’s always very ambitious for herself, but I don’t think she expected to do as well as she did.

“She was hoping to come top three so to win it was amazing for her.

“She missed the Worlds because of her operation, but she’s really geared up for next year now.”

Ellie has her sights firmly set on the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and defending her European crown in 2018.

And having undergone surgery to remove some bone from her heel, she is on track to challenge for more honours on the biggest stages of all.

“She making a good recovery and she’s almost back to full training now,” said Helen.

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“She wants to do all three next year, which is Europeans, the Commonwealths and worlds.”

And beyond that, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is her long-term goal, after an impressive Games debut in Rio.

“She always wants to do her best, she always wants to better what she’s done before, so hopefully she’ll get to Tokyo and get the chance to prove she can be up there with the best,” added Helen.



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