Junior Bevan Defeats Seniors for Three Golds


Latalia Bevan, the 14-year-old who placed sixth as a junior at British Championships this year, topped the all-around at the Northern European Championships in Ireland where the majority of her competition was made up of seniors.

The Welsh gymnast posted a 52.05 to slightly edge out Ireland’s Ellis O’Reilly by a tenth after showing especially good work on beam and floor. O’Reilly finished with a 51.95 with vault as her standout event but nothing else over a 13, while Jolie Ruckley, a 13-year-old from Wales who competed in the espoir division this year, was the bronze medalist with a 51.25, showing great work on floor.

Bevan and Ruckley actually defeated one of their own senior teammates, British national squad member Raer Theaker, who placed sixth all-around with a 50.45. Others in the top eight included Irina Sazonova of Iceland in fourth with a 50.95, Casey Jo Bell of Ireland in fifth with a 50.8, Rebecca Moore of Wales in seventh with a 50.35, and Marie Skammelsen of Denmark, age 14, in eighth with a 50.2.

In addition to her all-around win, Bevan went on to earn the gold medals on beam with a 13.0 and on floor with a 13.525. She also qualified into the bars final, but had a fall there to finish last with a 10.975. Ruckley snatched the silver on bars with a 13.15 for a very clean effort, but later had a fall on floor to finish last there with an 11.75.

O’Reilly had a great finish on beam to get the silver there with a 12.85, but a fall on bars put her in seventh with an 11.325 and a rough floor performance had her in eighth with a 12.275. Sazonova picked up the bars win with a 13.325 as well as floor bronze with a 13.1, Bell won bars bronze with a 12.625 and placed fourth on vault averaging a 13.175, and Skammelsen was the vault bronze medalist with a 13.65 average as well as the beam bronze medalist with a 12.725; the Danish junior also placed fifth on floor with a 12.8.

Others to win medals in the apparatus finals included Norma Robertsdottir and Sigridur Bergthorsdottir of Iceland. The pair topped the vault podium with Robertsdottir averaging a 13.763 to win gold and Bergthorsdottir averaging a 13.713 to finish right behind her with silver. The Scottish junior Louise McColgan, who finished tenth in the all-around with a 50.05, also brought home a medal as her 13.525 on floor was good enough for the silver there.

Gymnasts from the Faroe Islands, Finland, Isle of Man, and Norway also participated in the Northern European Championships. Full results are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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