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Back in the groove: Wales Commonwealth Games Long Lister Joe Cemlyn-Jones narrowly missed out on a medal at the latest FIG World Challenge Cup series event staged in Osijek, Croatia, finishing fourth in the parallel bars final.

 

Wales Commonwealth Games hopeful Joe Cemlyn-Jones was pleased to be back in action for Great Britain last week and has set his sights on impressing during the World Championship trials later this year.

The 21-year-old men’s artistic star only narrowly missed out on a medal at the latest FIG World Challenge Cup series event staged in Osijek, Croatia, finishing fourth in the parallel bars final.

Having qualified with a score of 13.900 on the Thursday to make the top eight, he then returned a score of 13.833 amongst a high-quality field in the final, finishing just behind Bulgaria’s David Huddleston who took bronze (14.266).

Reigning European parallel bars champion Ferhat Arican of Turkey (14.833) grabbed gold from Milad Karimi of Kazakhstan (14.666).

It was a welcome and more than respectable return to action for Cemlyn-Jones, who only two weeks earlier had seen his hopes dashed during qualifying when he dislocated a finger during his parallel bars routine at the previous World Challenge Cup event in Varna, Bulgaria.

The Bristol-born gymnast, who also represents Wales thanks to his Welsh grandfather, will now get back to work in the gym on some new skills as he looks to build momentum for some big events later this year.

He is set to compete at the Men’s British Championships in September – which this year will be staged in Cardiff – and will again be out to impress in what will be a trial event for October’s World Artistic Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Meanwhile Cemlyn-Jones will also be hoping to compete for Wales again at this year’s Northern European Championships, which are being hosted in Cardiff in November.

He won gold on both parallel bars and horizontal bar at the last Northern Europeans in Iceland in 2019.

Cemlyn-Jones, who trains out of the City of Birmingham club alongside the likes of Tokyo bound world parallel bars champion Joe Fraser, is on the Long List of Welsh gymnasts eligible for nomination and potential selection for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Meanwhile fellow Wales hopeful for Birmingham, Bridgend women’s artistic star Emily Thomas, had also earned GB selection for the latest World Challenge Cup event in Croatia and was due to compete – but was unable to do so due to injury and had to withdraw.

Elsewhere another Welsh gymnast and Commonwealth contender Gemma Frizelle (Llanelli Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy) was back on the big stage for the first time since 2019 mixing it with the continent’s best at the Rhythmic European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria last week.

Carmarthen-born Frizelle 23, was one of three senior individual gymnasts competing for Great Britain. It also was her first major championship appearance since her outing at the Rhythmic Worlds in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2018.

She competed in three events last week, scoring 16.600 with hoop which was her best through qualifying and was yet more valuable experience as she now turns her attention back to domestic success at next month’s Welsh Rhythmic Championships.

The full results from qualifying and finals at the FIG World Challenge Cup series event staged in Osijek, Croatia can be found here.

The full results from qualifying and finals at the Rhythmic European Championships can be found on the European Gymnastics website.