Welsh Athletics is delighted to announce that a team of 21 athletes will be heading to the Gold Coast to take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
The Welsh Athletics contingent is part of a 108-strong Team Wales squad that will travel to Australia for the 21st Games that will run from 4-15 April. Wales are one of 70 nations sending teams to take part in 18 different sports. Welsh athletes faced the toughest ever selection criteria for the Gold Coast, with a limit of 108 places for all individual sports being placed on Team Wales by the Games organisers. Welsh Athletics sent 24 athletes to Glasgow in 2014 and 18 to Delhi in 2010. The last time the Games were held in Australia, in Melbourne in 2006, there were 21 athletes in the Welsh team.
Welsh Athletics Head of Coaching and Performance, Scott Simpson, said:
“I’m proud that the work and dedication of the whole team has been recognised by this selection and I’m excited to see how all the athletes perform. There is a mixture of youth and experience with 13 athletes selected to make their debuts at the Gold Coast.
“Dai Greene, subject to performance, and Carys Parry, subject to fitness, could join Welsh sporting legends Colin Jackson, Steve Jones and Christian Malcolm in competing at their fourth Games. Sally Peake, who became Wales’ 44th individual medallist with a silver at Glasgow in 2014, will be returning in the Pole Vault.”
Carol Anthony, chair of Welsh Athletics, added:
“This group of athletes has had to fight harder than ever before to put themselves in contention for a place on the plane to Australia. I’m thrilled for each and every one of them and I’m sure they will all now battle even harder to reach finals, set personal bests and chase medals on the Gold Coast.”
The team includes a strong contingent of 12 endurance athletes, including the race walking duo of Bethan Davies and Heather Lewis in the 20km Race Walk. Dewi Griffiths will take on the 5000m and 10,000 metre double after a breakthrough year in 2017, which included a stunning marathon debut of 2:09:49 in Frankfurt.
There will be four athletes competing in the Marathon, including the 2017 World Championship duo of Josh Griffiths and Andy Davies. Caryl Jones and Eli Kirk, who has stepped up from the 10,000 metres four years ago, will compete in the women’s race.
European Cross Country Mixed Relay gold medallist Tom Marshall will run in the 1500 metres with Cardiff AAC clubmate Rowan Axe, while another Cardiff member, Ieuan Thomas, who ran at the London World Championships last year, is included alongside Jon Hopkins, one of seven Swansea Harriers in the team, in the Steeplechase. Great North City Games mile winner Melissa Courtney will double up in the 1500 and 5,000 metres.
Dai Greene, David Omoregie, currently training in Jamaica, and Caryl Granville compete on the track in the hurdles events, while Seren Bundy-Davies, like Greene, is chasing a qualifying mark prior to the Games to confirm her selection over 400 metres. British international Ben Gregory will be hoping to improve on his successive sixth place finishes in Delhi and Glasgow when he competes for the third time in the Decathlon.
It will also be a third Games for Pole Vaulter Sally Peake, who was Wales only athletics medallist in Glasgow, where she struck silver, while long jumper Rebecca Chapman will head to her first Games as the proud holder of the Welsh record having added 2 cms to Gill Regan’s 35-year-old mark last summer. Hammer thrower Carys Parry will find herself cast as athlete and coach in Australia when she chases another medal.
The 36-year-old will be throwing at her fourth Games, but it will be her first as coach to newly crowned Welsh men’s record holder Osian Jones. North Walian Jones is heading to his second Games in confident mood having smashed through Shaun Pickering’s 34-year-old Welsh record barrier last summer and taken his personal best up to 70.00 metres.
The Welsh Athletics team will be introduced to the crowd at the Welsh Indoor Athletics Senior Championships on Saturday, 27 January at the National Athletics Centre in Cardiff.
Welsh Athletics Team for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Tom Marshall (1500m)
Rowan Axe (1500m)
Jon Hopkins (3000m SC)
Ieuan Thomas (3000m SC)
Dewi Griffiths (5000m / 10,000m)
David Omoregie (110m H)
Dai Greene * (400m H)
Ben Gregory (Decathlon)
Andy Davies (Marathon)
Josh Griffiths (Marathon)
Osian Jones (Hammer)
Seren Bundy-Davies * (400m)
Melissa Courtney (1500m / 5000m)
Caryl Granville (100m H / 400m H)
Caryl Jones (Marathon)
Eli Kirk (Marathon)
Bethan Davies (20k Race Walk)
Heather Lewis (20k Race Walk)
Rebecca Chapman (Long Jump)
Sally Peake (Pole Vault)
Carys Parry (Hammer)
Para-Athletes (announced in November 2017)
Morgan Jones (T47 - 100m)
Rhys Jones (T38 - 100m)
James Ledger (T12 - 100m)
Olivia Breen (F38 - LJ & T38 100m)
Beverley Jones (F38 – LJ)
Hollie Arnold (F46 – Javelin)
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