Fabulous Frankie Jones bows out a golden girl

MEDALS GALORE: Frankie Jones has won a gold and five silvers at Glasgow 2014

MEDALS GALORE: Frankie Jones has won a gold and five silvers at Glasgow 2014

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

GOLDEN girl Frankie Jones "danced her heart out" to win her first Commonwealth Games title in her last ever competitive rhythmic gymnastics routine in.

The 23-year-old bowed out on the ultimate high by taking the top spot on the podium in the last individual apparatus final with the ribbon to add to the five silver medals she won in the competition in Glasgow.

In a nerve-jangling ending which saw Jones left anxiously waiting the outcome of an enquiry by Canadian gymnast Patricia Bezzoubenko, who had won all five other gold medals in the team event, all-around, hoop, ball and clubs finals, the Welsh gymnast prevailed after the appeal was rejected.

Jones scored 14.500 with the ribbon to win gold, ahead of Malaysia's Wong Poh San who won silver with 14.250 and Bezzoubenko bronze with 13.800.

The medal was also Wales' first ever rhythmic gymnastics gold at a Commonwealth Games.

"I could never even imagine that one. I thought 'I'm going to go on and dance my heart out as it's the last routine in my life'. It's been a long time, I just wanted to enjoy that moment, and then to have that result... I'm so happy," Jones said.

"I'm so proud and glad and happy I could do it for Team Wales. It's phenomenal, I can't even believe it. Just seeing the (Wales) flag up there blew my mind.

"It's not even a dream I could have had, it's just better than anything. I'm seriously struggling to find words."

Jones started the day having already won two silver medals in Thursday's team event and Friday's all-around final.

The Welsh gymnast won more silvers in the hoop, ball and clubs while teammate Laura Halford added to her all-around bronze by winning the same colour medal in the ball final.

Jones' success in the competition came after she underwent hip surgery following London 2012 to cure a long-standing injury, and she dedicated her performances to the people who have helped her get to the top.

"I wanted to do the job for the team for the two girls that came with us and the reserve and everybody, the whole team of people that had got us here put their whole hearts into it," Jones said.

"The hours in the gym and the pure determination we've had the whole two years to get here. I wanted to do that job. The clubs routine that I did I wanted that one so badly for them all. That was the one I was focussing on so after that I thought I would do what I do because that's my end."

Jones also paid tribute to her father Colin, who hails from Pontypool, and was watching her win six medals at Glasgow 2014.

"I love him so much,” she said. "He has been here every day and I am so happy he has been able to come and watch.

"I am sure he is the proudest Welshman ever.”

Despite this being the end of her own career, Jones believes the future is bright for Welsh rhythmic gymnastics, especially Halford.

When asked if she might reconsider her decision to retire, Jones said: "No not a chance. I'm happy, I'm done. I'm so proud of the journey I've come from the beginning of when I started until now. It's perfect.

"I just hope I can carry on with coaching and keep involved with the sport because it's the thing closest to my heart.

"Laura has been amazing. For her it's her first big competition I'm so proud of her. She's got big things to come. I just hope I can be there with her for the journey with her."

Comments (1)

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8:56pm Sat 26 Jul 14

corpardguy says...

Fabulous result and she could easily have had a couple more gold's too. Well done and what a great way to leave competition.
I hope she gets the proper recognition from her home town when she comes home.
Fabulous result and she could easily have had a couple more gold's too. Well done and what a great way to leave competition. I hope she gets the proper recognition from her home town when she comes home. corpardguy
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