Another hugely successful Northern Europeans for Welsh artistic gymnasts
Team medals for the men’s and women’s teams along with a host of individual medals – it was another hugely successful Northern European Championships for our Welsh artistic gymnasts.
The 2023 edition was staged in Halmstad, Sweden over the weekend.
On Saturday, the women’s team of Ruby Evans (Cardiff Olympic/Clwb Cymru Caerdydd), Poppy-Grace Stickler (Capital/Clwb Cymru), Annais Kamanga, (CCYC/Clwb Cymru), Evie Flage-Donovan (CCYC/Clwb Cymru) along with twin sisters Abigail Roper and Emily Roper (both Pipers Vale) retained the title won by Wales last year in the women’s team competition.
Wales bagged gold after putting a total of 198.696 on the scoreboard to win convincingly from England (189.627) in second and Norway (186.127) in the bronze medal position.
It’s the third time in the last four editions of the Northern Europeans the women’s team have won gold, following on from 2022 and 2019. There was no event in 2020 due to Covid.
There was also a brilliant individual all-around gold medal for Ruby, who totalled 50.565 across her four pieces.
Wales also had four of the top five placings in the women’s all-around competition with Abigail bagging bronze with 48.799, just ahead of Emily (48.766) and Evie (48.599).
Meanwhile on the men’s side, there was a fantastic silver medal in the team competition for City of Birmingham pair Jacob Edwards and Joe Cemlyn-Jones, Josh Cook (University of Illinois), Theo-Amari Ochana (Heathrow) along with Leeds duo Henry Lewis and Elliot Vernon.
The team totalled 308.160 and only narrowly behind gold medallists and hosts Sweden (309.124).
Joe went 78.199 all-around to secure individual bronze with Elliot fifth (76.899).
Then on Sunday apparatus finals took centre stage and with it came even more success.
Emily and Ruby grabbed gold on the vault and floor respectively, with Abigail third on vault. Evie was second on beam and Poppy third on the uneven bars.
Henry secured silver on the vault, with Joe second on high bar and third on the rings with Josh taking bronze on the high bar.
The Welsh delegation was led by physio Sian Knott and included coaches Tracey Skirton-Davies, Josie Hayes, Pete Haysham and Andy Butcher, along with judges Sarah Twose, Elizabeth Lewis, Paul Edwards and Tom Barnes, as well as chaperone Carol Sargeant.
A huge well done to everyone involved!