THREE girls from Harefield Gymnastics Academy made the top 10 but were disappointed to finish only ninth in the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships over the weekend.
Grace Blacklock, Claire-Louise Thompson and Hannah Feeney were representing Great Britain for the first time in the senior women's group event at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall and they found competition fierce just to make the top six, which would see them qualify for the final.
In the dynamic routine in the first of three qualifying rounds, the trio held their re-catches well and showed expressive dance as a well-matched group to finish ninth with 27.82pts, ahead of the Netherlands, Australia, Ukraine and Germany.
Trios should not have a top gymnast who is much smaller than the two bases and the Russians, who were censured and fined last year for failing to stand correctly when being measured and they also lost a whole point in each routine of the 2007 European Championships for their height difference, were unaccountably not penalised this year and therefore scored highly.
The Harefield girls showed great presence in their balance routine and Feeney's crocodile planche on Thompson in Russian pike on Grace in bridge was solid, earning them the seventh best score of 28.04.
However, in the final, combined routine, they unfortunately fell on their dynamic re-catch korbet element, a move they held in the first round and that meant their catchy dance and otherwise well-held balance skills gave them a score of 26.42, for a total of 82.28.
That left them in ninth place, just behind the Chinese girls and ahead of Australia, Ukraine, Germany and the Netherlands.
Thompson, 22, was disappointed with the performance, saying: "If we had done a clean routine we could have got through to finals.
"We went into the combined only 0.3 away from sixth so there was everything still to play for, but any mistake puts you out.
"In the rest of the routine we improved on things from previous rounds and it went well."
GB squad high performance coach Natasha Maxwell added: "The girls worked very hard for this competition, despite injury putting them out of full training for months. They can be proud to have represented their country and to be ninth best in the world."