Commonwealth Games Wales

GC2018: Day 5 Highlights

Date: 9th Apr 2018

TRIPLE GOLD FOR TEAM WALES ON MAGIC MONDAY

Six medal haul takes Wales to 16 medals (6 Gold, 6 Silver, 4 Bronze). Team Wales have now surpassed the number of Gold medals they won in Glasgow in the first five days of competition on the Gold Coast.

Highlights:

Swimmer Alys Thomas breaks Games record to claim 200m Butterfly Gold

Hollie Arnold smashes World Record to claim F46 Para-javelin Gold

Gold to Men’s Lawn Bowls pair of Salmon and Wyatt

Silvers for gymnast Latalia Bevan and shooter Ben Llewellin

Squash Bronze for Tesni Evans


SWIMMING

Alys Thomas produced the swim of her life to win Gold at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Monday night (9 April) to complete one of the greatest days for Wales in Commonwealth Games history.

The 27 year old from Swansea destroyed a top class field in the final of the 200m Butterfly, finishing almost a length clear to claim a famous victory.

Her winning time of 2.05.45 is also a new Commonwealth Games record.

Thomas was fourth at the halfway point, but produced a remarkable second hundred to leave two Australian stars Laura Taylor and Emma McKeon to fight it out for silver and bronze.

"I don't know what to say, I can't believe it myself,” she said. “I knew I was ahead but I didn't realise my time until I looked at the board. I'm in shock! I've always dreamed of being a Gold medallist and I knew that if I worked hard enough, I'd get there.

“But it's so surreal hearing the anthem and stepping on the podium, you almost think it's for someone else! Then you realise it's you. I'm so happy right now, I can't wait to see my coach and team.”

Afterwards, Thomas was embraced by her team-mates as she showed off her medal to the crowds. It was Wales’s second medal of the swimming meet, following Chloe Tutton’s 50m Breaststroke bronze on day 3.

Tonight, Tutton produced a very strong back-half of the race in her 100m breaststroke final to claim fifth place. She reached the turn last but powered her way back into contention in the second 50.

There was disappointment for Jazz Carlin who wasn’t able to defend the 800m freestyle crown. She was some way from her best as she finished in 6th place  in 8:37:45, 18 seconds slower than her winning time in Glasgow.

Carlin said, "I am disappointed with that time. I felt great in the pool but the pace was slow to begin with and increased really quickly and I wasn't ready for it. Of course, I'm so happy to be here with the team because I think there's a lot of potential. And even though people are talking about medals, we've achieved a lot in the pool so I'm really proud of the team for that. But yes, I am a little disappointed with that race so I'll work on my form ready for the next."

Ellena Jones was one place behind in 7th.

Calum Jarvis swam a strong 100m Butterfly Final to take 7th place, while in the 200m backstroke final, Xavier Costelli was put to the test when the Australians turned up the pace. He finished 8th with a time of 1:59:27.

"That wasn't a great swim for me - I felt a lot better in the heats. But that's just the way it goes, sometimes everything just clicks into place."

Georgia Davies looked every inch the defending champion as she won the 1st semi-final of the 50 metres backstroke in 27.86, qualifying fastest for tomorrow’s final at 1950. Harriet West was 8th in the second semi-final in 29.25.

ATHLETICS

F46 para-javelin

Holly Arnold won F46 para-javelin gold but needed to set a new world record to stand top of the podium.

The Paralympic and three-time world champion Arnold saw New Zealand's Holly Robinson lead with the competition's first world record.

But Arnold threw even longer, 44.43m, with her final effort.

"I'm just over the moon," Arnold told BBC Sport.

"On that last one, I told myself, 'I can take this'. I just focused on me. I've never screamed so loud. I'm so happy. It's been a rough few months for me so I'm just so happy to be Commonwealth champion."

Arnold’s winning mark was 1.41m further than her best throw at last year’s World Championships in London – where she also broke the world record.

Men's Decathlon

Both Curtis Mathews (Cardiff AAC) and Ben Gregory (Birchfield Harriers) got off to solid starts in the Decathlon on Monday morning at the Carrara Stadium.

Curtis ran 11.39 whilst Ben ran 11.60 in the opening event - the 100m, to get their Decathlon events off to a good start. Conditions were very difficult for the Decathletes with temperatures down at trackside soaring up to over 30 celsius. 

Following on from the 100m, came the second event of the Decathlon - the Long Jump. Both athletes produced their best efforts in the second round, as Ben jumped out to 6.94m to finish in 10th place while Curtis jumped 6.89m to finish in 11th place. 

The third event of the morning session for the Decathletes was the Shot Put, which proved to e very challenging in the extreme heat. Ben Gregory registered his best mark in the first round with a throw of 12.80m, whilst for Curtis Mathews it was a disappointing event after he registered three fouls.

After 3 events, Ben was in 10th place overall with 2,186 points while Curtis was in 12th place with a points tally of 1,564.

The next event of the morning session in the Men’s Decathlon was the High Jump with both Ben Gregory and Curtis Matthews looking to move up the leader board. The Welsh Athletes both cleared the height of 1.89m to place a joint 9thposition.

The final event of the session was the 400m with both Ben and Curtis in the same heat. Ben finished in 4th position in 50.31, and Curtis unfortunately did not start the event.

After 5 events during this morning’s session, Ben Gregory currently lies in 9th with 3691 points and Curtis sadly will not finish the Decathlon.

Men's 110m Hurdles

Cardiff AAC's David Omoregie made his Commonwealth Games debut at the Carrara Stadium as he competed in the men's 110m Hurdles Heats. David finished in 7th place in Heat 2 in a time of 14.20 which unfortunately wasn't quite enough to see him qualify for tomorrow's final.

As he rose from the starting blocks, the Cardiff athlete appeared to hit the first 2 hurdles which meant there was simply too much ground to make up in the final 80 metres, despite his fast finish. 

Women’s 1500m Heat 1

Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) looked strong in heat 1 of the Women’s 1500m to finish in fourth position. The welsh athlete produced an impressive final lap to gain an automatic qualification spot for tomorrows final which takes places at 1pm.

Women’s 10,000m Final

Jennifer Nesbitt (David Walker) made her major championship debut at the Carrara stadium in the Women’s 10,000m final. The Worcester AC athlete battled against the hot and humid conditions to produce a new personal best of 32:58.14 and a 17th place finish.

LAWN BOWLS

Wales stunned Scotland to claim a memorable gold in the Lawn Bowls Men’s Pairs at Broadbeach Bowls Club on Monday morning.

Alex Marshall was bidding to become Scotland's most successful Commonwealth Games athlete with five golds to surpass sprinter Allan Wells' record.

But Daniel Salmon and Marc Wyatt produced a gritty display to run out deserved winners in sweltering conditions.

Marshall and partner Paul Foster were big favourites before the match and raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening exchanges, but Wales found their rhythm and reeled the Scots in before prevailing 12-10 in a dramatic finale.

"It's not bad to be honest, all the hard work over the years; it makes up for it all. It's an amazing feeling," said Salmon.

"All the years of practising and playing in big games (helps)," he added.

"We have played against them many times so when you know the opposition you have to blank that out and do what you have to do," said Wyatt.

"And my last bowl today, it could not have been any better," added the 23-year-old.

"When playing in a Commonwealth Games match, you have to back yourself.

"We have played some good sides and played well. Again today, we played a good side and did what we had to do and came away with a gold medal.”

Salmon continued his winning streak with a 21 - 13 win over Norfolk Island’s Phillip Jones in the first round of the Men’s Singles competition, before going down 21 - 15 against South African Petrus Breitenbach in the second round.

The Women’s Triples team (Wales 18 - 7 Jersey) and Men’s Fours (Wales 13 - 10 Papua New Guinea) started off their respective campaigns with first round wins, while the Open B6/B7/B8 Triples defeated England 15 - 13 in their round five fixture. 

The Mixed B2/B3 Pairs went shot for shot in a fought hard match against South Africa,  with the round five fixture ending with the score at 11 - 8, while the Women’s Pairs team recovered from a six point deficit to take the lead, before narrowly going down 20 - 16 to India in their first round of competition. 

SHOOTING

Ben Llewellin won silver in the Men’s Skeet at the start of a thrilling day’s action at the Belmont Shooting Centre. Brisbane.

The self-employed carpenter from Spittal in Pembrokeshire had finished his Men’s Skeet qualification in 2nd place, and began preparation for his final against World and Commonwealth champions. In a nail-biting 60-clay final, Llewellin won the silver medal with 56 to the three-time Commonwealth champion who shot 57.

Craig Auden shot remarkably well in the Men’s Air Pistol despite breaking his wrist 2-weeks ago. In a very strong field, he was placed 15th with a respectable score and shot world-class scores in his last 30 shots.

Sian Corish qualified for the Women’s Air Rifle final in her first of two competitions. Comprising World-Cup, Commonwealth, and European champions, the final proved to be dramatic. Sian fought hard for her 6th place finish, her best Commonwealth Air Rifle placing.

Gaz Morris & Chris Watson got their Queen’s Prize Pairs campaign off to a great start, currently standing in equal 2nd place prior to tomorrow’s finale. 

GYMNASTICS

Latalia Bevan made history at the Commonwealth Games tonight by winning Wales’ first ever medal on the Floor.

The 17 year old from Merthyr Tydfil took silver for a routine which blended classic and modern styles with genuine artistry.  She was third to compete, scoring 13.300, to go top of the leaderboard. Of the remaining five gymnasts, only Alexandra Eade of Australia scored fractionally higher to claim gold, leaving Bevan with silver.

“I can’t believe it. It hasn’t sunk in,” she said. “I didn’t put any pressure of myself for medals, just to go out and enjoy it. I am one of the youngest here. My tumbles aren’t as big as the others, but I worked really hard on my artistry. I did my best and tried to make corrections from the day before and it paid off.”

Bevan become only the third woman in history to win an artistic gymnastics medal for Wales at the Commonwealth Games, following in the footsteps of Sonia Lawrence in 1998 (vault) and Georgina Hockenhull (beam) in 2014.

She dedicated it to her Wales team-mates, many of whom have narrowly missed out on a medals in the finals over the last three days.

“We trained so hard for this games and we hadn’t had any medal yet. It’s a really good feeling to finally get one,” she added.

She said she was looking forward to celebrating back at the St Tydfil’s Gymnastics Club where she took up the sport. “That lot will definitely put on a show for me!” she joked.

Emily Thomas from Barry also contested the Floor Final, coming sixth with a score of 12.866.

Bevan’s achievement was all the more special after she bounced back from a below-par performance on the Beam earlier in the afternoon. She finished 8th, just behind Maisie Methuen from Pontypool, who came 7th.

In the Men’s Parallel Bars final, 22 year old Iwan Mepham from Cardiff performed well with a creative and controlled performance.  He scored 12.366 to finish 8th.

SQUASH

British champion Tesni Evans won Wales' first Commonwealth Games squash medal in 20 years as she defeated eight-time world champion Nicol David of Malaysia 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

Evans, 25, triumphed over two tight final games after David, Commonwealth champion in 2010 and 2014, had levelled the match at one game all.

It was Wales' first squash medal since Alex Gough's bronze in 1998.

 "I feel unbelievable and can't believe I won that match," said Evans.

"It was so tough after coming back from yesterday (losing a semi-final) but I am happy I put in a performance like that.

"This morning I was having so many doubts in my mind about how tired I was and I was just trying to block it out.

"This is the top of moment my career and I am very proud to represent Wales."

But it wasn’t meant to be for Joel Makin, who just missed out on his bronze medal after losing to Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan in what was an intense battle.

Not much separated the two players with each of them winning two games each. It all came down to the fifth and final game but Adnan was able to outsmart Makin on the court with the Welshman eventually losing the final game 11-5.

“I knew this afternoon was going to be hard especially after last night’s loss.”

“I felt good during the second and the third match but then I slipped off my best a bit and you can’t afford to do that on this level.

“But the doubles start tomorrow so let’s go for that now.”

BOXING

Lauren Price has fought her way through to the Women's 75kg semi-final after beating Mozambique’s Rady Gramane this evening,

The 23 year-old, who won Bronze in Glasgow 2014, comfortably cruised through the first round.

Despite Gramane giving a good fight in the second round Price’s experience shone through and was able to produce a dynamic display of boxing to get her through to the semi-finals and is guaranteed at least a Bronze medal.

“Yeah I am happy but Bronze isn’t good enough for me. I’m out here to get that Gold.”

Meanwhile Wales have another boxing semi-final lined up after Mickey McDonagh won his Men's 60kg Round of 16 bout over in Oxenford Studios, beating Qhobosheane Mohlerepe of Lesotho (decision 5-0).

NETBALL

Wales were well beaten by an imperious England side in their third match of the Commonwealth Games.

Wales rang the changes for the clash against top-of-the-group England with Leila Thomas starting at goal keeper, Sarah Llewelyn at goal attack and Amanda Varey stepping in at wing attack for the injured Bethan Dyke.

England made a very strong start to the first quarter, but it was not from lack of trying from the Welsh defence as Leila Thomas scuppered a pair of English goals. Wales were not able to capitalise on turnovers as forced long passes gave the ball away.

At half time Wales trailed 45-10 to an outstanding side who are undefeated and top of the pool.

Captain Suzy Drane reminded her team to treat the second half as a fresh start, to focus on their own processes and performance as Wales sought a way back into the game. Unfortunately, the speed and height of the English made it difficult for Wales to make in-roads as Serena Guthrie continued to prove a menace at centre. Wales simply could not get clean ball into the circle and at the break the English were cruising.

The final quarter saw a more encouraging performance from the Welsh girls. Wales continued to build a modest score and the game finished Wales 31 England 85.

Definitely a tough afternoon for Wales who are still looking for their first win of the tournament. England however look every inch Commonwealth Games medallists and are through to the semi-finals.

Wales must now come together for the challenge of Uganda tomorrow at 11.30 am UK time. 

WOMEN’S HOCKEY RESULT

Women’s Hockey – Pool A:

South Africa 2 – 0 Wales


For a full schedule for Team Wales on Tuesday 10th April, please  go to: https://results.gc2018.com/en/all-sports/schedule-wales.htm

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