GC2018: Day 2 Highlights
GOOD EVANS: GAZ LIFTS WALES TO GOLD MEDAL GLORY
Sprint cyclist and medical student Lewis Oliva wins Silver in the Men’s Keirin
Netball Women post record score in defeat to Silver Ferns
Women’s Hockey lose 5-1 to England in heavy rain
Wales 9th in the medal table at end of Day 2 with 1 gold and 2 silvers
Weightlifter Gareth Evans won Wales’ first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with victory in the men’s 69kg.
The 31-year-old from Holyhead posted a total of 299kg to be crowned Champion as Team Wales’ tally rose to three medals by the end of the second day in the Gold Coast.
Evans said: “It’s been 20 years in the making so I was ready for this. I was coming for it. It’s been a lot of hard work but I knew I could do it. It’s been a bit overwhelming but I’m over the moon. This was always my aim: Gold for Wales.”
“I can’t take my eyes off the medal – but you know what, I have a flag around me and that means just as much.”
“Sitting waiting for the final lift was the hardest. The Gold was in touching distance and I wanted to bring back the first Gold of the Games for the team. “
London 2012 Olympian Evans was fifth in the 62kg category in Glasgow four years ago having made his Commonwealth Games debut in Delhi in 2010.
Other weightlifting highlights:
Earlier Catrin Jones finished 11th in the Women’s 53kg category, breaking three Welsh records on the way.
The 18-year-old added 10kg to her PB total hitting a 165kg total and smashing her own British records.
“Being selected for the Commonwealth Games has been my main long-term goal since I started. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Wales on such a large scale.”
The eighteen-year-old, who was named Young Sportswoman of the Year at the 2017 Wales Sports Awards, will certainly be pushing for a podium position at Birmingham 2022.
“It was a good stepping stone as it was in front of a big crowd so I’m happy with that.”
In the evening final, Christie Williams from Aberdare finished 7th in the 58kg category with lifts of 75kg in the snatch and 95kg in the clean and jerk, for a combined total of 170kg.
There were emotional celebrations at the Anna Meares velodrome as Lewis Oliva won silver in a dramatic Keirin final.
Starting at the back of the pack, the Cardiff University medical student timed his move through the field to perfection on the final lap to snatch silver, three hundredths of a second behind home favourite Australia’s Matt Glaetzer.
Oliva has reached the final the hard way, having to ride an extra race in the repechage after failing to qualify automatically from his heat.
After the final, he was embraced by his fiancée and fellow Team Wales cyclist Ciara Horne who had earlier recorded a personal best in the Individual Pursuit.
Oliva left the GB Cycling programme in Manchester to move back to Wales to study medicine, and target the Commonwealth Games.
He said: “I’ll wake up in a bit and it will all be a dream. I’m speechless. To have a two year plan like this – the belief of my coaches, my fiancée and my family – for it actually to pay off, its unreal.”
“It was a case of digging in through the repechage and getting a solid win under my belt, scraping through the semi, and then putting it all our there in the final. For it to pan out like this, and almost be up there for the gold , was amazing.
“I wanted to start studying in Cardiff. Cardiff University have been great. I had a plan to work with my coaches, the support of the Welsh Institute of Sport and everyone at Welsh Cycling has been brilliant. And especially my fiancée who has been thick and thin herself.”
It had already been a superb day for Team Wales, with personal bests across the board from Jessica Roberts, Hayley Jones, and Ciara Horne in the 3000m Individual Pursuit, Ellie Coster and Rachel James in the Sprint, and Ethan Vernon and Sam Harrison in the 4000m Individual Pursuit.
Wales recorded their highest goal total against netball powerhouse New Zealand as they lost their opening match of the Commonwealth Games (Wales 44 – 70 New Zealand).
Wales drew first blood with a Chelsea Lewis goal within 10 seconds, yet on the whole it was a nervy start for the women in red. A few early shots went awry as the Silver Ferns’ Maria Folau served up a long-range shooting masterclass. Wales did find some fluency in the first quarter, as the Kiwis leapt into an early lead.
In the second period, Wales played at the peak of their powers, tightening their defence and finding openings themselves. Kelly Morgan and Nia Jones were outstanding as Wales won the second quarter 13-9, the first time they have ever outscored the Silver Ferns in a single period.
But New Zealand, currently ranked second in the world, rang the changes in the second half at one point outscoring Wales 10 to 1.
Any hopes of repeating the second period heroics soon receded but Wales continued to build an impressive score, surpassing their previous record of 39 in this fixture. The margin of defeat, 26 points, was also the smallest in the history of Wales v New Zealand matches.
Wales were well beaten by rivals England at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, who ran out comfortable 5-1 winners to take top spot in Pool A.
England had moved into an early two-goal lead thanks to Giselle Ansley and Susannah Townsend but Phoebe Richards halved the deficit in the second quarter and Wales had their chances after the break to level the match.
But late goals by Hannah Martin, Sophie Bray and Grace Balsdon put the seal on victory for Danny Kerry’s side.
“It’s a local derby for us so everyone’s up for a huge game,” said Natasha Marke-Jones.
“They showed their class and were very clinical,” she added. “Straight away we started chasing for a second. Then their third went in and momentum was back with them and we never recovered.”
Wales Women’s Team narrowly missed out on first Commonwealth Games semi-final after defeat by Australia at Oxenford Studios.
Charlotte Carey, Chloe Thomas and Anna Hursey had earlier beaten Sri Lanka to secure a quarter-final spot.
Carey set Wales on their way in the final group match, winning 3-0 before Anna Hursey again showed the qualities that have attracted huge media attention in Gold Coast.
Trailing Ishara Manikku Badu by two sets, the 11-year-old from Cardiff battled back to square the game before missing out in the deciding fifth set.
Hursey was paired with Chloe Thomas in the doubles and the pair saw off the challenge of Hansani Kapugeeiyana and Manikku Badu to win the game 3-0.
Carey sealed victory without losing a set to confirm a place in the final eight against Australia, one of the pre-tournament favourites.
Carey got Wales off to a perfect start in the quarter-final, beating Jian Fang Lay (4-1). Thomas lost 3-0 to Melissa Tapper in the next game, leaving the match finely balanced going into the doubles.
This time Hursey was paired with Thomas but they were no match for the pairing of Miao Miao and Lay and the dream of an unprecedented last four place was over when Carey lost the final game.
With the match poised at 1-1, she led 10-2 but Miao battled back to win 13-11 and thrill the partisan home crowd.
Carey showed great resilience to respond with a fourth set win, but Miao made no mistake in the decider, sending the home nation through.
There were mixed emotions in the ring as the Boxing got underway at Oxenford Studios. Rosie Eccles won her opening bout in the Boxing Women’s 69kg Round of 16 match, beating Cameroon’s Aubiege Azangue.
But Kyran Jones is out. He forced a split decision against Steven Donnelly after a slow start in the Men’s 75kg Round of 32 match, but the decision was four to one in favour of the Northern Irishman.
British Champion Tesni Evans continued her impressive year. She progressed through the rounds, making light work of Malaysia’s Aifa Azman in her Women’s Singles Round of 16 match at the Squash Centre.
In the Men’s Singles, Joel Makin also made it through to the quarter-finals, with a 3-0 win over Jamaica’s Chris Binnie.
It was a superb day for Wales’ young artistic gymnastics, as they qualified for finals.
Maisie Methuen and Latalia Bevan are through to the individual All Around final on Saturday, while Holly Jones will compete in the Vault final on Sunday. Maisie Methuen and Latalia Bevan qualified for both the Uneven Bars and the Beam Finals, with Bevan and Emily Thomas also progressing on the Floor.
Men’s Triples team accounted for Papua New Guinea 27 – 10 to secure a hat-trick
of wins, after securing victories against India and South Africa on the first
day of competition.
Commonwealth Games debutant Laura Daniels continued her winning streak in the women’s singles, recording a 21-11 victory over Rachel Macdonald of Jersey in the fourth round. Daniels’ win over Macdonald is her third consecutive victory in the tournament, following her first-up 21-15 victory over Guernsey’s recently crowned World Cup indoor singles winner Lucy Beere and a 21-10 win over Amaliaha Matali of Brunei.
The Mixed B2/B3 Pairs were victorious 13-7 over Scotland, while the Women’s Fours went down fighting against Scotland 22 – 10.
In the Open B6/B7/B8 Triples Section A Round 2, Wales were defeated 27-4 by Scotland. But better news in the Men’s Pairs, as Daniel Salmon and Marc Wyatt beat Jamaica, 33 – 4.
Calum Jarvis finished 5th in the final of the Men’s 200m at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre.
“It wasn’t my best swim but I’m okay with it,” he said. “The finals are always so much faster than heats that it can take some getting used to. I’m looking forward to getting back in the pool.”
Xavier Castelli also came close to a medal, finishing 5th in the final of the Men’s 100m backstroke. He said: “I’m pleased with my performance, it was a tough line up and I’m proud to have competed against the best in that final.”
Alys Thomas came 7th in the women’s 100m Butterfly final in pouring rain, as Australia completed a podium clean sweep.
After the race, Alys said, “It was a slow start for me and I just couldn’t get the pace back but to be in the final and swim against class acts like Australia is what I’m here for.”
Georgia Davies is through to Saturday’s final of the 100m backstroke. She qualified fifth fastest for the event in which she won Silver in Glasgow four years ago.
full schedule for Team Wales on Saturday 7th April, please go