By Carl Field
Welsh women’s artistic gymnasts Ruby Evans and Evie Flage-Donovan brought the curtain down on their junior careers in style with yet more medal success to cap a sensational year.
The Clwb Cymru Caerdydd duo, who are both 15, travelled to Belgium last weekend to represent Great Britain at the 24th edition of prestigious junior women’s competition Top Gym – in what would be their final outing of 2022 and their last as junior gymnasts before they turn senior next year.
And they bowed out in style, both securing a gold medal in the team competition while double British junior all-around champion Evans from Cardiff, also won yet another gold on vault, as well as silver on both the floor and in the individual all-around.
Newport’s Flage-Donovan, meanwhile, who attends Lliswerry High School, was fifth in the all-around and on beam while on uneven bars just missed out on the medal places, finishing fourth.
The pair’s latest success came just a week after they were part of the Wales team who struck gold in the women’s team competition at the 2022 Northern Europeans in Finland – where Evans also won gold on vault.
Head national coach Tracey Skirton-Davies, who was also part of the travelling British delegation to Belgium, said: “It’s been an amazing year for Evie and Ruby; they have attended the highest level of junior European level gymnastics.
“They have gained so much experience and have worked incredibly hard to put Wales and GB on the map.
“I am really excited to watch them take that experience to the senior level next year.”
Evans won the Welsh junior title in February, before making it back-to-back British junior all-around titles the following month in Liverpool – where Flage-Donovan won junior Artistic British Championship gold on the beam – and resulted in her earning her first British squad call-up.
In June, Flage-Donovan competed in her first GB international, a three-way U15 contest in Haguenau, France. She was third in the all-around while also helped Britain to second place in the team competition.
Both were selected to represent Team GB at the 2022 Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Slovakia in July, where Evans bagged a brilliant silver medal on the vault.
Then, in August, both Welsh gymnasts were part of Great Britain’s junior women’s team at the 2022 European Championships in Munich.