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Welsh Gymnastics Claim the Podium at Northern Europeans

Poland’s Agnieszka Ciolek and Kenyan Edinah Kwambai.

Winning the Welsh Half Marathon Championships were Swansea Harriers’ Philip Matthews and Andrea Whitcombe.

Thousands of runners raised money for almost 800 different charities and good causes. An estimated £1,000,000 was raised, with a team of 1200 people running for Barnardo’s, the race’s charity partner. Several wore fancy dress, including a giraffe, a kingfi sher, a bat and a Roman centurion.

Celebrities also took part in the run. Actress and singer Connie Fisher was among the runners, raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Eggheads’ CJ de Mooi ran for Barnardo’s, former Miss Wales Courtenay Hamilton ran for Velindre and Mathew Pritchard donned a full fi reman’s outfi t and kit to raise funds for Ty Hafan. TV presenters Matt Johnson and Rhydian Bowen Philips also took part.

Over 350 people also signed up to run in the Barnardo’s Cardiff Family Fun Run, many enjoying the atmosphere and the occasion.

The race organisers would like to thank all event sponsors and suppliers. An extra special thanks go to event sponsors Lloyds TSB, and partners Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, Welsh Athletics and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Runners are already starting to sign up for next year’s race, scheduled for Sunday 21 October. People registering before 31 December can guarantee their place at a discount rate. With the race selling out for 3 years in a row, we recommend you register now to secure your spot.

Visit marathon gymnastics issue19twothousand&twelve sportingwales

The Northern European Championships 2011, in Uppsala, Sweden brought a fantastic set of performances from Welsh gymnasts who swept the medal boards, with 4 golds, 4 silvers and 4 bronze.

The Welsh men’s artistic team made up of Clinton Purnell, Grant Gardiner, Harry Owen, Matthew Hennessey and Robert Sansbury placed 1st in the men’s artistic team event a place higher than the previous championships.

Adding to the team gold was Clinton Purnell of Barry YMCA who took individual 1st place in the vault with a faultless performance. He also completed his medal collection with still rings silver and a bronze in the high bar. Not one to be out-done by his team mate Grant Gardiner, of Woking Gymnastic Club, also medalled taking bronze on the parallel bars.

The team and individual performances seen at the Northern Europeans marks a signifi cant step up in men’s gymnastics in Wales which has been overshadowed by the Women’s artistic performances of late.

Those performances were bolstered by Lizzie Beddoe, Georgina Hockenhull, Mollie Moore, Jessica Hogg and Kiera Brennan who took silver in the women’s artistic team event.

Two more golds followed, courtesy of Kiera Brennan and Lizzie Beddoe who took 1st place in the uneven bars and the fl oor respectively. Brennan added to her gold with a bronze on the uneven bars. Jess Hogg scored a 13.550 to take second and silver in the individual vault.

Dita Koch, the Welsh women’s artistic coach said, “We got all the possible places and medals we could of. It was disappointing not to get the 1st in the team event but the swedes were really strong, but with several great individual performances it was a successful Europeans.”

Tracy Skirton Welsh women’s artistic national coach thought the championships capped off the season nicely. “This was a really good opportunity for our junior gymnasts to gain some competitive experience, it also shows the depth in our squad that we can effectively put out a second team and still win medals,” said Skirton.

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