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Bainbridge jumpers win gold medals at world championship
There’s good. And then there’s really good.
And then there’s really, really, really, really good.
That would be the foursome of Jessica Fay, Sarah Sharman, and Molly and Abigail Harrison.
The four jumpers from the Bainbridge Island Rope Skipping recently competed in the World Jump Rope Championships, held last month held at George Washington University, in Washington D.C.
Against nearly 500 competitors across 25 teams from the U.S., Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Singapore, Tanzania and the United Kingdom, the Bainbridge jumpers brought home a boatload of medals.
In Single Rope Speed, the gold medal was awarded to Fay and Abigail Harrison won a gold medal.
In Double Dutch speed, the three-person team of Sharman, Fay and Abigail Harrison placed first in two events, while four Bainbridge jumpers also earned the top honor in their relay speed.
On the third day of the tournament, the rope skippers competed in Single Rope and Double Dutch freestyle events; the freestyle events were choreographed to music and performed in front of a panel of judges.
The pairs team of Sharman and Abigail Harrison won the gold after a near perfect synchronized routine, which was scored on creativity, presentation, difficulty and other required elements.
The jumpers from Bainbridge also entered a new event at the World Jump Rope Championships, a four-person synchronized team event. The foursome were flawless, and finished with another first-place finish.
The final gold medal for the islanders came in three-person Double Dutch freestyle, where Sharman, Fay and Abigail Harrison brought home the gold.
Molly Harrison, 18, said the Bainbridge team expected to be tested during the competition.
“They brought the best of the best,” she said of the other teams competing. “It was definitely nerve-wracking.”
“I think nerves are helpful,” added Fay, 17. “It gets your adrenaline going.”
“In our speed events — where we are going as fast as we can — we often have higher scores than in practice just because of the adrenaline and the motivation,” she said.
Abigail Harrison, 16, said the setting helped, too, with multiple teams competing at once.
“There were the speed events where we go as fast as we can; there were 16 people going at the same time,” she said.
There were a few distractions, however, such as the unofficial score display that showed how many jumps each team had made. For some of the routines, that’s more than 300 rotations of the rope in a minute.
The competitors couldn’t help but peek at the scoreboard, though.
“There was one event where we were in the last heat so we knew everyone else’s scores,” she said.
“We finished, we did pretty well. And then we looked at our score and thought we had beaten the group by three jumps,” she added. “We were really excited and we were hugging. And then we heard our official score and it was lower. we actually lost by two jumps. Pretty sad.”
They didn’t stay downbeat for long.
At the end of the competition, All Around Single Rope and All Around Double Dutch team awards were announced. The All Around Awards are given to the top scoring team for a combination of speed and freestyle events. The Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers won top honors for both awards.
They also earned the privilege to compete the final day of the competition at the Grand World Championships, the competition that showcases top jumpers from all age categories, vying to be the next Grand World champion.
In speed the final day of the competition at the Grand World Championships, the Bainbridge double dutch team of Abigail Harrison, Fay and Sharman won the Double Dutch speed relay championship title and trophy, with their high score of 624 jumps in two minutes, outscoring teams from Canada, France, and the USA.
The trio also earned second in another speed event, the 1x120. The Bainbridge four-person team won second-place trophies in two more Double Dutch speed events, the 2x60 and 4x45.
The team also took third place for a single rope relay speed event, with each jumper jumping 30 seconds.
In freestyle events at the Grand World Championships, the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers brought home two more trophies for their freestyle performances. The four-person team had a perfect single rope synchronized routine for second place, and they also scored third place for their intricate Double Dutch pairs freestyle routine.