The 2022 Welsh Rhythmic Open & Closed Championships took centre stage at Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff over the weekend with two fantastic days of action across the various categories and age groups.
In the elite (Level 5) seniors, Gemma Frizelle retained her Welsh senior all-around title on Saturday and then returned to Sunday to also win all four apparatus finals to secure another clean sweep.
Spectators were treated to some fantastic performances from the gymnasts from Llanelli RGA, Olivia’s SoRG, Planet S&C and Deeside RGA – along with visiting clubs RG Academy Champions, Evoke Gymnastics, Centrum GL, RG Club Worcester and Elena RGC.
Saturday saw the Level 4 and Level 5 competitions across the respective under-10, under-12, junior and senior age groups.
Then, on Sunday morning, it was the turn of the gymnasts from Levels 1-3 before a thrilling weekend of action concluded in the afternoon with the open apparatus finals featuring the top eight qualifiers on each piece of apparatus across the Level 4 and Level 5 junior and senior categories.
For the second time in a little over nine months, it was Gemma Frizelle walking away as Welsh senior (Level 5) all-around champion.
It meant she retains the title she won for the first time over the August bank holiday weekend last year, when this event marked a return for competitive gymnastics in Wales – after almost 18 months in hibernation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 24-year-old won this time with an overall total of 112.300, having scored 29.600 with both the hoop and ball, 28.200 with clubs and 24.900 with the ribbon.
For Gemma, it follows on from her two apparatus medals at the British Championships in Telford a fortnight before when he scooped silver with the hoop and bagged bronze with the ball.
Her Llanelli RGA team-mates and fellow Commonwealth Games long list gymnasts Lauryn Carpenter and Emily Cullen were second and third respectively.
Lauryn took silver with an overall score of 93.500 with Emily scoring 79.000 across her four pieces for bronze.
Gemma returned on Sunday to also win all four apparatus titles for the second year in succession; scoring 25.550 with the hoop, 23.500 with ball, 25.750 with clubs and 24.250 with the ribbon.
Lauryn took silver in all four events while Emily won bronze in the ball final.
The trio, along with Elizabeth Popova – who didn’t compete here as she continues to work her way back after an ankle injury – now await news on Team Wales selection.
The gymnasts selected to compete at this summer’s Commonwealth Games will be revealed on June 15th.
Meanwhile in the elite (Level 5) junior competition, Eirlys Jones added the Welsh junior all-around title to the British junior all-around title she won last month.
Eirlys had an overall total of 96.800, scoring 24.300 with the hoop, 25.000 with ball, 24.000 with clubs and 23.500 with the ribbon.
Then on Sunday she also took her place in the apparatus finals and went on to bag bronze medals in the hoop, clubs and ribbon events.
In the under-12 Level 5 competition, British Rhythmic Espoir Squad member Imogen Coslett (Llanelli RGA) capped a memorable couple of weeks as she won with an all-around score of 74.700. At the British Championships two weeks prior she won silver with clubs and was fifth in the all-around.
British Rhythmic Foundation Squad member Grace Woods won the under-10 Level 5 competition ahead of Llanelli RGA clubmate Bonnie-Lee Williams. Both won two medals apiece on the apparatus at the British Championships.
There was also success for Llanelli RGA gymnast Ella-Rose Thomas (Welsh under-10 Level 4), Evoke Gymnastics’ Poppy Driver (Welsh under-12 Level 4) and Mali-Fflur Lane from Llanelli RGA (Welsh junior Level 4) who all won their respective all-around competitions. Mali-Flur also took the hoop and clubs open apparatus titles, Poppy won with the hoop, while Ella-Rose bagged the free and rope titles
Also among the winners on Saturday were Georgia Smith (RG Club Worcester), Amelie Haines (Evoke Gymnastics), Bella Watson (Evoke Gymnastics) and Isabella Dougall (Llanelli RGA).
Among the winners on Sunday in their respective categories were Amelia Majdanska (Deeside RGC), Ivy-Mae Walton (Evoke Gymnastics), Gabriele Bjeviciute (Elena RGC), Faith Edwards (Olivia's SoRG), Vanessa Stoyanova (Deeside RGC), Fraya White (Llanelli RGA), Macey Darby (Llanelli RGA), Mairwen Thomas (Planet S&C), Kirsten Everett (Elena RGC), Erin Goddard (Planet S&C), Teleri Williams (Llanelli RGA), Amelia Nguyen (Elena RGC), Lily May Grice (Elena RGC), Kristiana Sayno (RG Club Worcester), Elizaveta Edmonds (RGC Club Worcester), Scarlett Bunn (Elena RGC), Lily Toft (Llanelli RGA), Asia De Pompeis (Llanelli RGA) and Victoria Lodi Giardelli (Olivia's SoRG).
Congratulations to all of the gymnasts, their coaches and clubs on a fantastic two days of competition.