“It definitely feels different in real life than watching it on telly!” – Wales star Ruby Evans impresses on major debut at Artistic World Championships
Wales star Ruby Evans said it was “an amazing experience” to compete in the World team final after impressing on her major championship debut.
Having qualified in a superb second, Ruby and her Great Britain teammates Jessica Gadirova, Ondine Achampong, Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton ultimately had to settle for sixth place in last night’s women’s team final at the Artistic World Championships in Antwerp, after putting a total score of 161.864 on the board.
Simone Biles inspired USA (167.729) to a record seventh consecutive title ahead of Brazil (165.530) who secured silver and with it an historic first World team medal and France (164.064), who took bronze – their first World team medal for 63 years.
But the stylish and mature performance of Cardiff 16-year-old Ruby – who competed on vault and floor – was a major positive for Great Britain.
Ruby is the first senior Welsh women’s artistic gymnast to compete at the Worlds since 2006 but, if her performance is anything to go by, she showed she belongs on the big stage.
“It was an amazing experience to be out here with all these experience gymnasts,” said told the BBC’s Betty Glover afterwards.
“Obviously things didn’t go exactly the way I wanted but I had a fun experience.”
Asked what she learned from the experience, Ruby replied: “That it definitely feels different in real life than watching it on telly!”
“Obviously it’s loud here, it’s the biggest competition I’ve ever done and, yeah, it was shock.”
Ruby added: “It feels great being from Wales as not a lot of us from Wales get to experience this.”
It has already been quite some journey so far for Ruby. She’s gone from talented emerging young gymnast with Cardiff Olympic Gymnastics Club to an elite star taking on the world.
She now trains under the watchful eye of the national coaches at Sport Wales National Centre.
Welsh head national women’s coach Tracey Skirton-Davies – who is with Ruby in Antwerp – said: “I was thrilled for Ruby yesterday to be on the field with so many great athletes; I am sure the feeling will stay with her forever.
“Ruby started with us as an eight-year-old having experienced gymnastics at a leisure centre and a club.
“I commend all those who have been part of her journey.”
In what is still only her debut year as a senior women’s artistic gymnast, it’s already been a memorable 2023 for Ruby, including turning 16 and passing her GCSEs with flying colours from Ysgol Plasmawr.
Back in March she was crowned British senior vault champion while a month earlier bagged silver on vault and bronze on the floor on her senior debut for Great Britain at the World Cup series event in Germany.
Read the British Gymnastics report from Antwerp.