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Commonwealth Games 2022 Selection Update

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10/06/2022 00:00, In Blog /

Earlier this week, Team Wales announced the athletes selected to compete in this summer’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

A total of 22 athletes were selected. Sadly, a number of athletes who had achieved the required nomination standards were not selected.

Welsh Athletics has received a number of correspondence querying a number of aspects relating to the selection. With this in mind, I would like to clarify the process that led to the final selection.

As per previous Games, Welsh Athletics does not select the team, this is undertaken by Team Wales. Welsh Athletics has a nomination policy, with performance standards set out across each event. The standards are based on a number of performance metrics and are in line with the top six performances achieved at previous Games. Athlete’s who achieve the required standard would then be automatically nominated to Team Wales for consideration for selection.

The past few years has been incredibly challenging for our athletes to prepare and qualify for the Games due to the impact of the pandemic on training and competition opportunities. For this reason, Welsh Athletics supported a large contingent of athletes to prepare and attain the nomination standards during a number of Easter training and competition Camps. This support was also extended to a large group of sprinters in an attempt to achieve the nomination standards in both men’s and women’s 4x100m relay.

Every athlete who achieved the required standard was nominated by Welsh Athletics for selection consideration by Team Wales. On top of this, additional athletes who were extremely close to the standard were also considered, with consideration given to whether they could be competitive in the Games this summer or as potential medallist in future Games – as a result of this, two additional athletes were put forward to the selection panel for consideration.

All Nations in the Commonwealth Games are allocated a quota of athletes, this is done to ensure that the Organising Committee can plan for delivery of the Games in the best possible way. It is up to each Nation how they wish to apply the quota. In Wales, the number of overall team places is not allocated by sport, with each athlete being considered by the same panel on their merit – effectively Team Wales have the difficult task of determining the best chance for overall success between athletes in the individual sports (Para and Team sport are outside the quota). A different approach is in place in the other Home Nations who have been given an allocated number of spots per sport.

Welsh Athletics would obviously like to see the largest contingent of athletes competing at every Commonwealth Games – it is the pinnacle of the sport in Wales, and all of our performance programmes are aligned to maximising athlete performance in each Games cycle.

That being said, it is important that the athletics community in Wales is clear on the role Welsh Athletics plays in the selection process – to nominate athletes for consideration for selection – the final decision ultimately lies with Team Wales.

Welsh Athletics has put in place measures to improve engagement and accountability for its performance programmes since the Gold Coast Games in 2018. This has included the establishment of a Performance Sub-Group of the Board, and also in the development of event group strategy groups. National Coach Chris Jones provides regular updates to the Board, and to the sub-group at each meeting. He has also presented recently to the General Council and to the Track and Field Committee. Welsh Athletics has also held two virtual engagement sessions to provide updates regarding the Games preparation, whilst also reinforcing the nomination process at all times.

I hope this information provides additional context behind the final team selection.

Finally, can I finish by once again congratulating those athletes (and their respective Coaches) who have been selected, it is a huge honour to represent your country and all of Welsh Athletics cannot wait to support Team Wales in Birmingham.

James Williams