Northern European Championships returning to Cardiff in November
Wales’ top male and female artistic gymnasts will step up their Commonwealth Games preparation this November when the Northern European Artistic Gymnastics Championships return to Cardiff.
The normally annual event will be staged at the Sport Wales National Centre at Sophia Gardens from the 12th to 14th November. It was originally set to take place in Cardiff last October but was re-scheduled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Should it go ahead as planned this year, it will give the leading Welsh artistic gymnasts battling to earn a place on Team Wales at next year’s Commonwealth Games some high-quality competition on home soil just over eight months out from Birmingham.
Already confirmed to be attending will be delegations from Ireland and Scotland as well as Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, the Isle of Man and Sweden.
Invitations have also been sent to the Northern Ireland and Norway federations along with England – who, should they accept, would be making their first appearance at the Northern Europeans and could potentially complete the Home Nation line-up.
This year’s Northern Europeans will mark 20 years since the inaugural event which was staged in Helsinki, Finland, back in 2001.
It has only once previously been held in Wales and that was in Cardiff in 2009.
That event 12 years ago resulted in both the Wales men’s and women’s teams winning all-around gold, while Jessica Hogg also won the women’s individual all-around title.
Wales also enjoyed great success the last time the event was held – in Kópavogur, Iceland, back in 2019 – bringing home a total of 10 gold, four silver and three bronze medals.
The women’s team of Mia Evans, Holly Jones, Jea Maracha, Poppy Stickler and Emily Thomas won all-around gold with the men’s team of Emil Barber, Brinn Bevan, Joe Cemlyn-Jones, Josh Cook and Jacob Edwards bagging all-around silver.
Also among the highlights was Emily Thomas’ triumph in the women’s individual all-around competition as well as taking the honours on uneven bars and floor.
Spectator numbers for November’s event in Cardiff will depend on Welsh Government guidelines at that time, with ticketing details to be announced in due course.