BREEN LONG JUMP GOLD AS TEAM WALES REACH TEN MEDALS
Today, world para-champion Olivia Breen claimed Commonwealth Games gold as Wales won four more medals. The 21 year old from Guildford won the women's T38 long jump final after Bethan Davies secured bronze in the 20km race walk. Laura Daniels took silver in the Women’s Bowls Singles before Laura Hughes picked up Wales' 10th medal, and the fourth by a Welsh woman on Sunday, taking bronze in the women's 75kg weightlifting.
After fouls in rounds 1 and 2, Paralympian Olivia Breen showed her experience to jump a Games record of 4 metres 56 in round 3 to move ahead of Australian rivals Cleaver and Doyle. It was mark that no-one could get close to, and with the Gold medal already secure, she pulled out a fantastic last round leap of 4 metres 86, a personal best and new Games Record.
Wales had already enjoyed an excellent morning as Bethan Davies won a bronze medal in the first event of the athletics programme. The 20km Race Walk was at Currumbin Beach Front with strong Welsh support around the course sweltering in 28 degree heat.
For much of the race, Davies, who is a research assistant and neuroscientist at Cardiff University, was lying outside the medal positions in 4th until a dramatic twist in the final stages. Race leader, Australia’s Claire Tallent was disqualified for three red cards, issued by officials for having both feet off the floor. Davies, who competes for Cardiff AAC, kept her cool to stay ahead of India's Khushbir Kaur in fourth, and powered home for a deserved Bronze medal.
“I’m thrilled,” said Bethan. “Not a lot of people know about race-walking and so I’m hoping this will help to get people interested in it. There was a lot of support around the course for me and my family are here so that really helped.
“I was aware that they had a few cards at the front so I decided to keep my own pace and see what developed ahead of me. I needed to do my own thing just in case they came unstuck at the front, and they did.”
In the same race, Heather Lewis from Pembrokeshire finished 7th.
In the hammer, Welsh record holder Osian Jones competed in the first field event in the Carrara Stadium. A narrow cage meant some nervous throws for many competitors in the early rounds. Osian got off to a good start, throwing 69.44m in the first round, backing it up with 70.14m in round 2, only his second time over 70m.
As a close competition developed between the home nations, England's Nick Miller seized the day with a new Games and British Record of 80.26m to win Gold. Osian couldn't improve further, but he’ll be content with a strong performance that saw him finish 7th overall in a very competitive hammer competition.
Skewen’s Laura Daniels won silver in the Women’s Singles Bowls on a day of high drama at Broadbeach.
Daniels, who’s a full-time accountant, produced a gutsy performance to go through to the final of the Ladies Singles, guaranteeing a at least a silver medal after beating Kelly McKerihen of Canada by a 21-13 scoreline.
In the final the Neath-born former World Indoor Bowls Champion faced Jo Edwards, who was defending her Commonwealth Games title.
Daniels led the way, leading her opponent for the opening 20 ends but the New Zealander battled back to notch her third gold medal at the Games.
Daniels said: "It started off well and I managed to get ahead but at this level I know that is never the case for very long. I never thought it was mine at 17-13 because I know the calibre of Jo. She came back at me and I had a few loose ends which probably cost me the medal.”
The afternoon session also saw Daniel Salmon and Marc Wyatt taking on the Cook Islands in the Men's Pairs semi-final and they followed Daniels into a gold medal match of their own after winning 21-14.
It didn't all go the Welsh pairing's way, at one point surrendering a commanding 14-0 lead, but they recovered to seal the victory and now face Scotland on Monday morning (09.01 local time).
The Mixed B2/B3 Pairs lost their fourth round match in Section A down at Broadbeach Bowls Club in the first match of the day, finishing 18-6 to Australia.
Wales' Rosie Eccles is guaranteed at least a bronze medal. She beat Tonga's Magan Maka to move through to the semi-finals in the women's 69kg.
But that was the only good news on a tough day for the other Welsh fighters.
Billy Edwards lost to Zambia’s Nkumbu Silungwe in the last 16, while Lynsey Holdaway was on the wrong end of a tight points decision against Northern Ireland’s Kristina O’Hara in the women’s quarter-final.
Xavier Costelli said he was delighted to finish 4th in tonight’s 50m Backstroke final. He touched the wall in a time of 25.44 as Australia completed a podium 1,2,3.
Alys Thomas came 6th in 50m Butterfly final.
Chloe Tutton qualified for tomorrow night’s 100m breaststroke final 8th fastest in 1.08.54. Earlier Beth Sloan failed to make the semi-final.
But Calum Jarvis is also through to the final of the 100m Butterfly. He finished third in his semi-final behind Australians Grant Irvine and David Morgan in a time of 53.33.
The final heat of the morning session saw defending champion Jazz Carlin post a time of 8:36.52 in the 800m Freestyle heats to finish second behind Australian Ariarne Titmus. She will take her place in the final, along with Ellena Jones who also qualified after finishing fourth in 8:43.89.
The one disappointment was the withdrawal of Kathryn Greenslade through illness. She missed the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle heats.
A tremendous fightback from Paul Coll ended Wales' Joel Makin's hopes of making the final of the men’s singles.
Makin won the first two games but Coll, a fierce competitor, came roaring back to level the match and then took the decider as his opponent tired in the humid conditions. Coll, the world number six, triumphed 6-11 9-11 9-11 11-2 11-8.
Makin will now have the chance to play for bronze tomorrow night: “It’s a case of picking myself up and dusting myself off now because this is a hard one to swallow. But now it’s all about tomorrow and giving it all I’ve got left in me.”
It was a similar story for Tesni Evans from Rhyl in the women’s singles semi-final. It was a classic squash semi-final this afternoon as Wales’ #1 Tesni Evans took on England’s #1 Sarah-Jane Perry.
It was always set to be an uphill battle for Evans who has never beaten S. J Perry during her playing career with Perry winning all nine of their matches.
It was a tight game between the two home nations during the first game. But Perry’s presence on the court gave her the upperhand and England won the first game 11–6.
From then on it felt like an uphill battle for Wales as Perry exploited Evans’ weaknesses in what was a physical battle between the girls.
Evans was unable to get back into the game and England went on to win the remaining games comfortably (11-3, 11-8), meaning Evans lost out on a place in this year’s final.
Tesni will now have an opportunity to play for bronze tomorrow afternoon when she faces Malaysia’s Nicol David at 14.30. The 25-year-old says she’ll “fight for her life” to get on that podium tomorrow.
Two Welsh gymnasts both came within a whisker of a medal as the individual apparatus finals began at Coomera.
Holly Jones from Swansea finished fourth in the Vault, just 0.033 points behind the bronze medal winner. The 17 year old A-level student produced a confident display in front of a packed crowd, landing both vaults cleanly, only to lose out on a medal by the tiniest fraction.
It was a similar story for Jac Davies from Carmarthen, who also trains at the Swansea Gymnastics Club. He completed a classy routine, in a tough competition featuring Olympic Champion Max Whitlock and eventually winner Rhys McClenaghan, and hoped he had done enough for a medal. But the judges’ scores were counted, Jac lost out on bronze by just 0.067 points.
“It’s the second time I’ve come fourth but that’s what competition is all about,” he said. “That’s one of the lowest scores I’ve had this year. It just wasn’t meant to be today.”
Earlier Jac finished seventh in the Men’s Floor Exercise Final, while Maisie Methuen and Latalia Bevan finished 7th and 8th respectively in the Uneven Bars.
After a hard-fought sixty minute game, the Men’s Hockey team were left heartbroken at the siren, with a fighting 4 - 3 display against sixth-ranked India at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
Eager for a win after suffering defeat to Malaysia in their second pool B match of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the 24th ranked Welsh put it all on the line in a high-scoring match that went down to the wire. The third fixture of Group B featured a feast of penalty corners, which proved crucial in determining the final score.
A close opening quarter saw both sides scoreless at the first interval.
India scored their first goal 40 seconds into the second quarter with Dilpreet Singh firing a shot into the back net. A phase of play featuring three penalty corners, led to Gareth Furlong netting his first of three goals. India held the lead at half-time, with Mandeep Singh scoring from a penalty corner, three minutes before the break.
After making a flurry of substitutions in the third quarter, Wales equalised in the 44th minute, with Furlong scoring from a penalty corner to set up a thrilling final quarter.
The final quarter was highlighted by three goals in the space of three minutes with Harmanpreet Singh securing the lead for India in the 56th, before Furlong claimed his hat-trick with a goal in the 57th from a penalty corner. SV Sunil scored the winner with a minute and a half left on the clock in the final quarter.
The Men’s Hockey team will play their final group match against England on Tuesday April 10.
On the final night in the Velodrome, Welsh cyclists couldn’t repeat their medal success on the previous three evenings.
In the Women’s Keirin, Rachel James finished 9th. In the scratch race, Manon Lloyd, Meg Barker and Elinor Barker finshed 9th, 11th and 12th respectively.
In the Kilo (1000m Time Trial), Keirin silver medallist Lewis Oliva could only finish 13th with Ethan Vernon 16th.
In the final race of the night, the 40km Points race, Jon Mould was 7th with 45 points, with Joe Holt and Sam Harrison back in 13th and 20th.
Coral Kennerley and Mike Bamsey finished fifth in the women's 10m air pistol and men's 10m air rifle respectively, while Ben Llewellin was second on the opening day of men's skeet qualification.
For a full schedule for Team Wales on Monday 9th April, please go to: https://results.gc2018.com/en/all-sports/schedule-wales.htm