By Carl Field
Brinn Bevan marked his return to the competition floor in style as he was crowned British champion on parallel bars – and now wants to take on the world again.
The 24-year-old, from South Essex Gymnastics Club, was competing at the 2021 Men’s British Championships in Cardiff.
The Welsh Gymnastics ace had been sidelined for eight weeks for injury rehab due to a leg fracture sustained after a bad fall while vaulting at the last Olympic trial back in May.
Competing only on parallel bars, the 2016 Rio Olympian scored 14.233 to take the title ahead of another Wales Commonwealth Games contender Joe Cemlyn-Jones (14.066) in second.
His return could be timely – given the fact the Great Britain team for next month’s World Championships is set to be announced this week.
The event last weekend also marked the long-awaited return of competitive men’s gymnastics on the British stage having been in hibernation for 18 months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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This is a great opportunity for a talented, motivated and committed individual to contribute to the Welsh Gymnastics Development Team.https://t.co/nYOxzGUoVR
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“It was nice to see all the boys again and get back in a competition environment after so long,” Bevan said.
“It’s also nice to see how everyone has been handling it in different ways and training hard in the background.
“In the last Olympic trial I fractured the top of my tibia again and I had to have eight weeks out with pretty much no training at all. But I’m OK now, I’ve been given the all-clear and I’m back training and everything, but I’m just not quite competition ready on some of the other apparatus.
“That’s why myself and my coach Scott (Hann) made the decision just to concentrate on parallel bars for these British Championships, but the plan obviously in the coming competitions is to reintroduce more apparatus and get back all-around again.”
Bevan will find out this week if he has been selected for the Worlds, taking place in Kitakyushu, Japan from 18-24 October.
Back in 2015, Bevan was part of the first British men’s team to win a team medal (silver) at a World Championships.
Only a few weeks later he broke his fibula and tibia on his left leg – again while vaulting – and had to undergo surgery, but returned in time to make the British Olympic team for Rio.
On his potential selection for this year’s Worlds, he said: “We know the selection policy in terms of the scores we’ve had to hit to be considered.
“In some of the Olympic trials, which are being used for Worlds selection as well, I made the start and final score on the parallel bars.
Joshua Nathan from City of Birmingham Gym Club is the 2021 senior British all-around champion! 🏆
— British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) September 12, 2021
“So it’s only going to help my case to have hit my routine and come away British champion on the parallel bars again.
“There’s still a lot of work to do but we’ve got four weeks now until the World Championships so it’ll be a lot of hard work in the background and, providing I’m selected, hopefully I can challenge everyone on the world stage again.”
Meanwhile fellow Wales Commonwealth Games Long Lister Joe Cemlyn-Jones added to his growing reputation as he walked away from the Championships with a total of four individual medals – and a team triumph.
In the all-around competition, he scored 81.697 to earn himself the silver medal and was second only to his City of Birmingham team mate Joshua Nathan – who stormed to a maiden British all-around title, scoring 83.899 points to top the rankings and take the most prestigious title in British men’s gymnastics.
Cemlyn-Jones was also second on rings (14.266) behind South Essex’s Courtney Tulloch (15.066) while be bagged bronze on the floor (14.033) behind Sam Mostowfi (14.233) from Notts and City of Birmingham’s Dom Cunningham (14.200).
Cunningham and Nathan took gold on vault and pommel horse respectively, while London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Sam Oldham (Notts), who this week announced his retirement from elite gymnastics, bowed out in style with victory on high bar.
The performances of the City of Birmingham trio also saw the club top the team rankings and now also become the proud owners of the illustrious Adams Shield.
In the U18 event, it was also a successful weekend for another Wales Commonwealth Long Lister in Theo-Amari Ochana (Heathrow), who won bronze in both the all-around and high bar.
Fusion Gymnastics Wales’ Iwan Scrivens bagged silver on pommel horse while YMCA Barry duo Henry Lewis and Michael Tang narrowly missed out on the medals on vault and high bar respectively.
Harry Hepworth (Leeds Gymnastics Club) helped himself to the U18 all-around, pommel horse, rings and vault titles.
And in the U16 competition Alexander Niscoveanu, who hails from Penarth and trains at South Essex, took silver in the all-around as well as on the floor and pommel horse.
George Atkins (also South Essex) won the U16 all-around, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and high bar titles.