By Carl Field
Welsh Gymnastics are reflecting on more success at the recent 2022 Northern European Championships in Jyväskylä, Finland. The Welsh Artistic gymnasts returned home with five medals, including a gold in the Women’s Team event.
The women’s team of Mia Evans (Park Wrekin), Abigail Roper (Pipers Vale) along with Clwb Cymru quartet Jea Maracha, Sofia Micallef, Ruby Evans and Evie Flage-Donovan were crowned team champions on Saturday with a total score of 197.050.
That put them ahead of England (196.450) in second and Norway (195.000) in third and saw Wales regain the Northern European Women’s Team title they last won in 2019 – a team which also included Mia and Jea and juniors.
Wales also took five of the top 10 placings in the individual all-around competition with Jea the highest in 5th place.
It then got better on Sunday with three more women’s medals, two of them gold, in the individual apparatus finals.
Double British junior all-around champion Ruby Evans struck gold on vault with a beautiful double twisting Yurchenko followed by a full twist.
Maracha grabbed gold on the uneven bars while her fellow Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games teammate Mia Evans bagged bronze on the floor for her beautifully choreographed routine.
There were also a couple of near misses.
Abigail Roper, called into as a replacement for the injured Poppy-Grace Stickler, did a fantastic job as she made two apparatus finals; finishing just outside the medals in 4th on the floor while was 5th on vault.
Flage-Donovan was fourth on uneven bars while Maracha was sixth on beam.
On the men’s side, the highlight was a brilliant bronze on the pommel horse for Fusion’s Iwan Scrivens.
That came after a young men’s team including Scrivens, YMCA Barry pair Sammi Morgan and Michael Tang, Harrison Harris (Valleys Gymnastics Academy), Theo-Amari Ochana (Heathrow) and Henry Lewis (Leeds) finished fifth and tied with England in a strong Men’s Team competition.
They also secured five individual apparatus final berths.
With Scrivens taking bronze on pommel, Morgan only narrowly missed out on the medals in 4th. Tang and Lewis were sixth and seventh respectively on vault while Ochana was 8th in the rings final.