Commonwealth Games: Gemma Frizelle claims rhythmic gymnastics gold

2022 Commonwealth Games
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

Rhythmic gymnast Gemma Frizelle has won Wales' fifth Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham in the hoop event.

Wales have 23 medals with five gold, five silver and 13 bronze after nine days of competition.

Boxers Rosie Eccles, Taylor Bevan and Ioan Croft and para table tennis player Joshua Stacey will guarantee four more medals and go for gold on Sunday.

Ioan's twin brother Garan, Jake Dodd and Owain Harris-Allan secured boxing bronze medals after semi-final defeats.

Golden girl

Frizelle is competing in her second Games and beat Anna Sokolova of Cyprus.

The 24-year-old admitted she was shocked with the win which was Wales' first Commonwealth Games gold in the hoop discipline.

"I was third on so it was a long time after my routine but I was happy with my score," said Frizelle.

"I knew I was capable of it, mainly because the coaches were telling me that. I was just hoping to scrape a medal but to come out with gold was amazing.

"My whole club from Llanelli were here and I am so grateful for the support."

Elizabeth Popova and Frizelle finished seventh and eighth respectively in the ball final, while Popova was fifth in the clubs event.

More medals

Welsh boxers suffered a mixed day with three defeats and three victories at the semi-final stage but are still on course to record their most successful Commonwealth Games campaign.

They have already matched the total of six secured in the 1958 Empire Games in Cardiff and will be hoping to achieve more than the one gold achieved in that tally 64 years ago.

Women's light-middleweight Eccles, men's light-heavyweight Bevan and welterweight Ioan Croft fight for top spot on Sunday.

Eccles, who won silver on the Gold Coast four years ago, defeated Northern Ireland's Eireann Nugent and will face Australian Kaye Scott.

"The final is a key point to get to but I did not come here to get silver," said Eccles.

"I came for the gold and I want to go one better."

Bevan beat England's Aaron Bowen to face Scotland's Sean Lazzerini in the final.

"It was a brilliant fight, just as I expected," said Bevan.

"I always thought it was going to be a close fight because we have done a lot of sparring together, and I am just glad I dug deep and got the win.

"When I came here I set out to get the gold and everything is going to plan, and I am buzzing to be in the final."

Ioan Croft defeated Scotland's Tyler Jolly in the welterweight semi-final and will face Stephen Zimba.

Jolly suffered a cut in the final round following an accidental head clash.

"Right before he got cut he nutted me as well above the eye," said Croft.

"I looked to see if I had got cut and he came back in and I caught him.

"It's how it is. The last time I boxed him I got caught by his head and my left eye was closed for about a week. It happens and is part of the sport.

"So it came down to who wanted it more, and I think my fitness did come through.

"It was a hell of a tough fight. It was probably the biggest crowd I have boxed in front of before, and the atmosphere was unbelievable."

Croft's identical twin brother Garan could not make it a family double as he was beaten by Northern Ireland light-middleweight Aidan Walsh.

"I am heartbroken and gutted," said Garan. "We knew we were up against a very tricky and awkward boxer. He does not get involved much, scores his shots and walks away.

"He is very skilful and I could not pin him down. He is very experienced and has an Olympic bronze medal. I will learn and get better."

Flyweight Dodd lost to England's Kiaran McDonald and 18-year-old bantamweight Harris-Allan was defeated by Ghana's Abraham Mensah.

"I never really boxed my best and it is whoever turns up on the night, and he was the better man," said Harris-Allan.

"But I am only 18 and this is just the start. I am not going to put my head down, I need to keep grafting and I will achieve my goals."

Table tennis hope

Table tennis duo Charlotte Carey and Anna Hursey are through to the semi-finals of the women's doubles after defeating Canada and top seeds India, although Lara Whitton and Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang lost their last-16 match.

Carey and Hursey will play their semi-final on Sunday afternoon against Singapore, and the pair will be aiming to make up for the disappointment of just finishing out of the medals in the team event.

Para table tennis player Joshua Stacey will go for gold on Sunday morning.

On the penultimate day of track and field events, Cardiff's Jake Heyward improved his own Welsh record in a world class men's 1,500m final.

The 23-year-old ran 3:31.08 at his first Commonwealth Games to finish fifth, half a second behind world champion Jake Wightman in third.

Heyward 'disappointed but proud'

The race was won by Australian Oliver Hoare with Kenya's Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot in second.

Hammer thrower Amber Simpson finished fifth with a personal best of 66.52m.

In the women's 10,000m race walk, Heather Lewis set a new British record of 45:09.19 to finish fifth.

Her compatriot and Gold Coast bronze medallist Bethan Davies was just behind her, coming sixth in 45:45.59.

In the men's hammer throw, Osian Jones reached 69.15m on his way to sixth place, while debutant Jac Palmer threw 66.63 to finish 11th.

Jonathan Hopkins completed the men's 3,000m steeplechase in 9:06.95 to come ninth.

There was no medal in the lawn bowls for the men's fours of Owain Dando, Jarrad Breen, Ross Owen and Jonathan Tomlinson as they lost 17-12 against England.

There was also no repeat of his bronze-medal performance on the Gold Coast for wrestler Curtis Dodge, after he lost his last-16 bout against South Africa's Arno van Zijl in the men's 74kg division.

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