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Carl Field

Carl Field

There were three 10 top finishes for Team Wales as the individual men’s and women’s artistic all-around finals took centre stage on day three of gymnastics action at Arena Birmingham.

The men were first up with Jacob Edwards finishing in an excellent 10th place with teammate Josh Cook just behind him in 12th.

Then in the afternoon session Poppy Stickler secured a fantastic fifth place in the women’s final, with Jea Maracha also securing herself top 10 finish in what, for both 16-year-olds, was their first experience of a Commonwealth Games individual all-around final.

Jacob Edwards and Josh Cook 

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jacob will also take away fond memories from his first Games.

He had originally missed out in qualifying, despite scoring well enough to finish inside the top 18 – due to the two gymnasts per country rule for the final.

But the late injury withdrawal of Joe Cemlyn-Jones handed Jacob a starting berth alongside Josh.

And he certainly grasped the opportunity, looking confident from the outset and going on to put a total of 76.900 on the scoreboard across his six pieces of apparatus.

Reflecting on his first Commonwealth Games experience at Birmingham 2022, Jacob said: “I’ll be honest, I was very emotional walking out on Friday [for the Team Final and individual qualification] and I almost shed a tear.

“When it was pitch black in the Arena, you’re walking out and you can see all the crowd, it was very surreal and as soon as we were up on that podium and our names were being called, Team Wales, it was goosebumps.

“I felt very proud but was very nervous. But as soon as that first routine was out of the way, we were steamrolling through.

“After the Team final, I’d sort of prepared myself mentally that I was done, so it was a bit of a shock to the system getting that phone call to say Joe was being withdrawn for the final; it was big news and my heart started going straight away.

“Obviously I really hope that Joe recovers quick and is back out there as soon as he can because he’s a great gymnast and a great guy.”

Jacob admitted though that his late addition to final meant he had nothing to lose as he walked back out on to the competition floor.

“100 per cent,” he said. “There was no pressure on me at all.

“I just went out there to enjoy it; I set myself the challenge going in that I had no pressure at all so let’s just aim for top 10 and it has paid off – as I’ve come 10th at the Commonwealth Games.”

Just behind him on 75.900 points and in 12th spot was Josh, who is competing at his second Games having also been part of Team Wales at Gold Coast 2018.

Jake Jarman won the men’s all-around competition with a total score of 83.450 as he held off the challenge of his England teammate James Hall (82.900) and Cyprus’ Marios Georgiou (81.750). FULL RESULTS

Then it was on to the women’s final with Poppy and Jea back in action having helped Wales to a highly-respectable 5th position in the Team final the previous evening.

Poppy’s total score of 50.200 across her four pieces cemented her 5th place in the individual women’s standings with Jea finishing in 10th position with a final all-around score of 48.100.

Poppy Stickler and Jea Maracha. Picture: Sydney Davies 

Australia’s Georgia Godwin won the women’s title with a score of 53.550 from England’s Ondine Achampong (53.000) and Canadian Emma Spence (52.350). FULL RESULTS

Both Jea (balance beam) and Poppy (floor) return for individual apparatus finals on Tuesday, while their teammate Sofia Micallef will also take her place in the balance beam final.

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