In July, artistic gymnast Alex Niscoveanu represented Team GB in Slovenia at the European Youth Olympic Festival, winning Team Gold alongside Jonas Rushworth and Sol Scott, and Bronze in the individual All-Around. At the British Championships this year, Alex became the Men’s Under 18 All-Around and Floor champion, and at last year’s event, he won four medals, including Gold on Pommel Horse and Rings. Also last year, Alex competed at the eG Wohnen Juniors Trophy in Cottbus, winning Under 18 Gold in Team, All-Around, Floor and Rings, and Silver on Pommel Horse, Horizontal Bar and Vault, with this marking Alex’s first competition back after a wrist injury. Alex trains at South Essex Gymnastics Club, and represents both Great Britain and Wales internationally, and he is targeting the Northern Europeans for Team Wales, the Junior Europeans for Team GB, with his ultimate goals being the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. Chatting to us, we found out from Alex about representing Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in July, winning Team Gold at the competition and his success at the British Championships in both 2022 and 2023.
What was it like finding out you’d been selected to represent Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Slovenia in July and how did you prepare for the competition?
It’s something that I’ve been working towards for the last two years, and a wrist injury last year really set me back, so I’ve been working so hard in the run-up to selection, so to find out I’d actually been selected seemed very surreal. But it’s been a dream of mine for a long time so to actually make it was the most amazing feeling.
You won Team Gold alongside your British teammates Jonas Rushworth and Sol Scott, what was the Team event like to compete in and how was it becoming champions?
It was actually quite calm and fun, we were in the first of four groups so we’d been told that our job was just to focus and go clean. Both Jonas and Sol are great guys and we just made sure we really supported each other all the way round.
How was it winning Bronze in the individual All-Around competition and how did you stay focused throughout the final?
We found out seconds after the Team result so we were all already totally gassed! But then when the screen changed and I realised I’d medalled All-Around, I just couldn’t believe it!
How did you find the experience competing in Slovenia and how was it being part of a major international multi-sport competition?
Just incredible, travelling with other athletes from different sports was really an experience I will never forget.
What was it like attending the opening and closing ceremonies?
There was so much pride, but also nerves going into the opening ceremony, but walking behind that flag felt so good. The closing ceremony was unreal, especially as we were much more relaxed and then we had a kind of rave at the end, it was epic.
At this year’s British Championships, you became the Men’s Under 18 All-Around and Floor champion, what was this like?
Again, having not long come back from injury, I think I just wanted to go out there and retain my spot on the British squad by achieving a top 10 finish, but then when I won it, I couldn’t believe it. I’d been second for two years in a row, but then had to deal with a couple of setbacks so I think that was the moment that I really started to get some confidence back, it’s always a hard road back from injury.
What are the British Championships like to compete at and how was it coming away with four medals, including Gold on Pommel Horse and Rings, in 2022?
I love competing in the big arena, although it is very nerve-racking, it makes me feel really important with so many people watching and cheering, so the atmosphere gives a real boost. I’m always so proud and amazed when I come back with medals. There’s a good, strong group of junior gymnasts and there’s always a strong fight for any medal. We all put in so many hours but just trusting the process and trying to stay calm and focused is all you can do and when you get those results, it makes all that hard work pay off and just feels amazing.
How was it competing at the eG Wohnen Juniors Trophy in Cottbus last year, where you won Under 18 Gold in the Team, All-Around, Floor and Rings, and Silver on Pommel Horse, Horizontal Bar and Vault?
I really like competing at Cottbus, I’ve been lucky enough to do it a couple of times over the years. This was my first comp back after my injury and I was competing up an age group so I really didn’t expect to do as well as I did. I was just hoping to get through my routines, so I think I was in shock for a bit after it.
Can you tell us about some of the other competitions you’ve been part of over your time as a gymnast so far?
My main competitions are the ones that have already been mentioned, but I’ve also done a few 4 and 5-way competitions in France and Germany. They’re much smaller with not really much of a crowd so don’t have the same feel as the bigger ones like British and EYOF, but I’m always so proud to be selected to represent British Gymnastics and love getting to travel and compete with my teammates from all over the world.
How did you get into gymnastics and was it something you always wanted to do?
Basically, my dad was a gymnastics coach at a local club and my mum used to work evenings, so I’d go with my dad to work and watch him coach and then play in the gym after his session. Then when I was old enough at four, I joined my dad’s squad, and trained with him as it made sense. I started competitions at nine and started winning Welsh competitions and got selected for the British development squad, and it made me want to go further. At 12, I then moved to South Essex for more training and opportunities. I’ve done a lot of different sports over the years from football to ice hockey, but gymnastics is just in my blood.
What does a typical training day look like for you at South Essex Gymnastics Club?
I wake up at 7am, get the bus to sixth form, my dad picks me up, and I have one hour to eat before heading to training for four+ hours of training. Twice a week I leave sixth form at 12pm and train 1pm to 8pm. And then I train all day Saturday with Sundays off unless I’m competing.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being an elite gymnast for Great Britain and Wales?
Travelling and competing with my friends. I’ve made some amazing friends over the years from all over the UK.
Did you have any favourite gymnasts to watch when growing up and have you been given any stand-out advice that has stuck with you?
When I was young, I really looked up to Max Whitlock and Courtney Tulloch, and still do, but I’m also a big fan of Kohei Uchimura.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Doing anything really. Some days I’m happy just to chill but I really like travelling around and trying new experiences.
Do you have any competitions coming up that you can tell us about or that you are targeting?
My next big targets are the Northern Europeans for Wales and Junior Europeans for Great Britain next April and then Commonwealth 2026 and LA Olympics 2028 are my ultimate goals.
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