Watch Great Britain seek to retain European title

Alice Kinsella performs on the uneven bars

A year ago, Alice Kinsella did not want to do gymnastics any more.

When she started treatment for acne, the Olympic bronze medallist did not think it might leave her on the verge of quitting her sport.

The 23-year-old, who will aim to help Great Britain defend their European women's team title on Sunday, said she went on the contraceptive pill to help her skin condition but ended up developing anxiety and depression last year.

"I was so close to retiring," Kinsella, who helped Great Britain to a surprise women's team bronze at the Tokyo Games in 2021, told BBC Sport.

“I couldn’t train properly, couldn’t go for anything. Especially on bars, skills I’ve been going for since I was 10 - I couldn't even go for those.

“My mind would be, ‘OK, you're going to do it’. And then my body would stop and then I would just be in hysterics because it would just be so stressful.”

She came off the pill and now says she is in a “really good place”, and has already won all-around bronze at the Europeans in Rimini, Italy, this week.

She will now seek to add to her six continental medals when she lines up alongside a resurgent Becky Downie, Ruby Evans, Georgia Mae-Fenton and debutant Abigail Martin in Sunday's team final.

British all-around champion Ondine Achampong has withdrawn after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while Olympic bronze medallist Jessica Gadirova is also missing after sustaining a similar injury last year.

'We made a difference' - Downie proud legacy will last

Becky Downie, who was controversially not selected for the Tokyo Games, says she had thought she would be retired by now but a "belief deep down" that she could achieve an Olympic medal on the uneven bars has kept her in the sport.

A silver medal on the apparatus at last year's European championships gave her extra confidence and, with an even more difficult routine now, she is hopeful of yet more success.

Although, give her the choice between a gymnastics medal and her MBE, she would pick the latter every time.

She and her sister Ellie were given the award earlier this year after speaking publicly about abuse in the sport, before a review that led to reform in gymnastics.

"To leave that kind of legacy... people forget about the medals but I'm hoping that in five, 10, 20 years' time, we're going to look back at this time and be like 'we actually did that, we made a difference. We made an impact,'" she said.

Great Britain will name their Olympic team in June and selectors will be paying close attention to how gymnasts perform at these European Championships.

When will Jessica Gadirova return?

After following up her Olympic team bronze with three world championship medals in Liverpool in 2022 - including floor gold, team silver and all-around bronze - Jessica Gadirova had been seen as a huge hope for more success at the Paris Games.

However, a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament while warming up for last October's World Championships has ruined those chances.

But still aged just 19, Gadirova is focusing on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

"It's definitely gutting to miss out on these Olympics," she told BBC Sport, adding that she had decided not to try to rush her return in time for Paris.

"I want the knee to be in the best position for a long career in gymnastics."

In the meantime, she is supporting her team-mates in Italy and enjoying "not having the stress" of competing.

"It's nice to actually watch the gymnastics for once," she said.

How can I watch the European Gymnastics Championships on the BBC?

All times BST. Coverage can be subject to late schedule changes, so details may differ from this page.

Women's European Championships (2-5 May) - BBC Sport website and app

Sunday, 5 May - 14:30-17:00: team final