GC2018: Day 10 Highlights
GOLD COAST 2018 CONFIRMED AS TEAM WALES’ BEST EVER PERFORMANCE
Boxing victories for Lee and Price to take Wales to 10 Golds
Mike Wixey claims shooting Gold in Olympic Trap
Cycling Road Race medals for Dani Rowe and Jon Mould
Stacey wins bronze for Table Tennis
36 medals now won, with two events remaining (10 Gold, 12 Silver, 14 Bronze)
Equals Glasgow – 36 medal total
Equals Auckland 1990 – 10 Gold Medals record with more silvers and bronze
Wales are currently 7th in the medal table, ahead of Scotland and Nigeria.
It was a historic night for Welsh sport and Welsh boxing this evening as Wales celebrated their most successful Commonwealth Games ever, on Australia's Gold Coast.
Wales equalled their record medal haul of 36, and also the number of golds won at single Games (10) with seven podium positions on Saturday including a two golds and a silver in the boxing.
Lauren Price has already enjoyed a phenomenal sporting career, having won the world kick-boxing title four times as a teenager and then represented Wales at football. She also became the first woman to win a boxing medal for Wales at a Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow four years ago.
But tonight she added Commonwealth Gold to her list of achievements.
She beat Australian Caitlin Parker on a split decision to win gold in the women's 75kg division.
"I knew it was going to be tough, boxing an Australian in her backyard, but I pulled it off," said Price.
"I am the first Welsh women's boxer to win Commonwealth Games gold and I am happy with that."
It was then left to Sammy Lee to take Wales into new territory. His Gold Medal was the one which made this Team Wales’ most successful Commonwealth Games.
Lee, 19, celebrated a unanimous win over Samoan Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali in the men's 81kg final, only his third senior fight.
The victory came less than a year after he won Gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Afterwards, Lee struggled to find to the words to describe what he had achieved.
“I don’t even know. I never thought I’d ever be a part of history but here I am and it’s been an honour representing Wales. I wouldn’t want to be any other nationality.”
Earlier, 21-year-old student Rosie Eccles who was first Welsh boxer into the ring. She faced England’s Sandy Ryan in the Women’s 69kg Final. Eccles fought herocially but had to settle for silver on a split decision.
“I did the best I could out there tonight. When you lose you learn and that’s what makes you better.”
Team Wales finished the boxing competition with an outstanding return of four medals from seven fighters.
Team Wales’ shooters completed their best ever Commonwealth Games performance with a stunning Gold medal for Mike Wixey in the Men’s Olympic Trap Final.
The 46 year old Engineering Director from Abergavenny improved upon his day 1 scores to shoot 74 of 75 clays, qualifying with bib number 1 (first rank) for the Final. Evidently enjoying the top spot, Wixey went on to win a riveting final and claim Gold.
It completed a special week for Mike and his wife Sarah who won Bronze in the Women’s Trap yesterday.
Jon Davis, who suffered a knee injury two days before his competition, finished a respectable 26th place in the world class Trap field of 40 entrants.
In his third event, Mike Bamsey narrowly missed out on qualification by one point, just like team-mate Sian Corish yesterday in the women’s event. Mike matched his Glasgow performance by placing 9th, but improved upon his overall score by 8 points.
Gaz Morris & Chris Watson completed their Queen’s Prize Individual competitions with similar points to the overall winners at the long ranges. Gaz placed 10th & Chris placed 16th in a field where the top 5 shooters broke the previous Games record.
From a group of 11 athletes, the shooting team brought home 5 medals for Wales, the fourth best performance of any country.
Team Wales’ cycling team added two more medals to their collection, as Dani Rowe took Bronze in the Women’s Road Race, before Jon Mould sprinted to Silver in the Men’s.
Four years ago Rowe, then King, competed in the Road Race, Scratch Race, Individual pursuit and Points Race for Team England.
But now married to a Welshman, Rowe donned the Welsh jersey and was led out for her sprint by team-mate Elinor Barker, who won the points race last week with the help of Rowe.
Rowe had helped Barker to points race glory on the track last week and was grateful her teammate returned the favour on the road.
“It feels amazing. It was my aim for a long, long time, the Commonwealth Games. So I’m really happy that the hard work has paid off,” she said.
Also representing Wales on the Road along with Rowe and Barker, was little sister Megan Barker, Manon Lloyd, Jess Roberts and Hayley Jones.
“The girls did an absolutely amazing job. Every single one of them. Making sure myself and Elinor were always at the front coming into the climbs so that we could make sure we didn’t miss any moves.”
“But Australia controlled the whole race, from start to finish. So it was then about setting it up for the finish.”
Later, Jon Mould also took Silver in the men's Road Race behind Aussie Steele von Hoff, the perfect ending to the Commonwealth Games competition.
The two road medals secured today, increases Welsh Cycling's medal haul to a total of 6, exceeding the results of four medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Joshua Stacey won Wales’ 31st medal of the Commonwealth Games, taking bronze in the Para-Table Tennis TT6-10 category after beating Theo Cogill from South Africa 3-2 in the bronze medal match.
It was Cogill who won the first game 11 – 8 but Stacey wasted no time in getting himself back into it as he went on to win the next two games with his clinical performance.
The 18 year-old Welshman from Cardiff would need to win the next game to get his hands on the Bronze.
The South African made Stacey wait a little bit longer after he bounced back to win game number four.
Going into the fourth game, Stacey’s coach, table tennis player Charlotte Carey, shared a simple message: “Take your time, this is it”.
And that’s exactly what the Welshman did as he went on to win the fifth and final game 11 – 8 to himself a place on that podium.
“I’ve got to give every credit to Theo, he gave me a good match but yes I’ve got a massive smile on my face right now.”
And the youngster already has his eyes on the future.
“I’m over the moon. But bring on Birmingham 2022 when hopefully this medal will be a better colour.”
Wales’ Men’s Sevens almost pulled off a major shock against Olympic Champions Fiji in a thrilling pool match at Robena Stadium.
Both sides had beaten Uganda and Sri Lanka in the opening matches of pool D, which set up a winner-takes-all clash to win the group and qualify for the semi-finals and a potential medal shot.
Wales survived an early scare as Fiji had a try disallowed, before Owen Jenkins, son of former Wales hooker Garin, powered over to open the scoring. Angus O’Brien was unable to convert. But Ravouvou crossed two minutes later, and converted his own try, to give the Islanders a 7-5 half-time lead.
Fiji’s Vakurinabili gave them the perfect start to the second period as he stretched his side into a nine point lead. But Luke Morgan struck straight back, sprinting into the corner and just touching down before crossing the dead-ball area. Ben Roach then put Wales in sight of victory as he scored a try, converted by O’Brien, to give them a 17-14 advantage.
In the last minute, Fiji showed why they have iconic status in the sport, as they hit back with a converted try for Kunatani to re-take the lead.
In the final few seconds, Wales launched a daring raid from their own goal-line, with Justin Tipuric prominent, in the Fijian half. But the ball spilled lose after the hooter had sounded, leaving Wales’ player distraught at just missing out on their quest to win a Commonwealth medal. Final score Wales 17 Fiji 21.
Captain Adam Thomas said: “We performed really well as a squad and executed our plan. I am so proud of the boys. We left it all out there. The bounce of the ball went against us tonight.”
“The overall experience at the Commonwealth Games has been brilliant, to be honest. As a squad we have built, and I hope we can take this form into the world series.”
Wales now play Scotland at 0130 BST tomorrow as the teams fight it out for positions 5 to 8.
“It’s important we get up and enjoy it tomorrow, even with a medal spot gone. It’s likely this group will never play together again, so it will be brilliant if we finish strongly.”
After two defeats on the opening day of competition, Wales women lost 45-0 to England, who boast a team of fully professional players. They now play Kenya just before 0100 BST tomorrow.
15 year old Aidan Heslop finished sixth in the 10m Platform Diving,
Heslop is Wales’ first diver at a Games for 20 years. He came from 12th place to qualify 5th for the final, where he competed against the top divers from Canada, Australia and England delivering several 6.0 and above scoring dives.
Heading into his last two dives, Heslop was in the Bronze medal position. He ended up sixth with an impressive score of 395.95.
Aidan said: "Finishing sixth is a real achievement for me as this is my first Games and it's an honour to be diving with some of the best in the world. It's only the start and I want to continue so I hope this will help me develop for future competitions."
1500m bronze medallist Melissa Courtney put in another gutsy performance in the Women's 5000m on the last day of track and field action at the Carrara Stadium.
The race started out steadily in hot temperatures, but the Kenyan World Champion, Hellen Obiri, began to push the pace as the race moved past 2km. Melissa stayed in contention in the main group alongside the other home nations athletes, but in the closing laps, the race stretched out and Obiri pulled away to take Gold, with compatriot Margaret Kipkemboi in Silver and England's Laura Weightman picking up Bronze. Melissa came in 9th in a time of 15:46.
Speaking afterwards, Melissa had mixed emotions: "I came out here with the 5k as a priority, hoping for top 6 and with the Welsh Record in my sights, but it wasn't to be. I never expected the 1500m Bronze so i've got to be so happy with that.
“The conditions were tougher out there than I thought even having trained in Kenya and prepared well out here, the slow early pace didn't suit me. I'll turn my attentions to the Europeans now, and will wait and see how the season goes before I have to decide whether to do the 1500m or 5000m there."
For the final day’s schedule (Sunday 15th April) please go to: https://results.gc2018.com/en/all-sports/schedule-wales.htm