Ben Llewellin just missed out on what would have been a fourth gold medal in one day for Wales at the Commonwealth Games. The 23-year-old shooter had to settle for silver after he was just edged out by Cypriot Georgios Achilleos in the men's skeet.
Alys Thomas knows exactly what she’s going to do after picking up her shock gold medal in the women’s 200 metre butterfly at Gold Coast – shave the head of her coach Stuart McNarry. That was the deal that was struck before she went into her final if she went faster than 2 min, 6 sec. Not only did she do that, but she smashed the Commonwealth Games record and stripped two seconds off her previous best. The 27-year-old Swansea swimmer, who became only the fourth Welsh women to strike gold in the pool after Pat Beavan (1978), Georgia Davies (2014) and Jazz Carlin (2014), dominated the race from start to finish to lead home the Aussie duo of Laura Taylor (2.07.39) and 100 metre champion Emma McKeon (2.08.05) as she won in 2.05.45.
It’s been a mavellous Monday for Wales at the Commonwealth Games with three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. The six medal haul has moved Wales up to seventh in the medal table on Australia’s Gold Coast with six gold, six silver and four bronze to give a 16-medal total.
Hollie Arnold saved her best till last to smash the world record in the F46 javelin to pick up Wales’ second para athletics gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Hot on the heels of Olivia Breen’s golden leap in the long jump at the Carrara Stadium, the 23-year-old World and Paralympic champion held her nerve to see of New Zealand’s Holly Robinson in an epic battle. The 23-year-old Robinson threw down the gauntlet to the favourite from Wales in her opening round as she went 64 centimetres further than ever before with a world record throw of 43.32 metres. That added 30 centimetres to Arnold’s previous best world mark.
Jason Strange has been confirmed as part of Cardiff Blues’ coaching set-up for next season. The current Wales U20 coach will move to the Arms Park to work as backs coach under new head coach John Mulvihill. Former Newport and Bristol fly-half Strange oversaw the U20 Grand Slam in 2016 and has helped develop some of Wales’ most exciting young players, including Seb Davies and Jarrod Evans – both of whom he will coach at the Blues.
What a brilliant day for Welsh squash at the Commonwealth Games with both Joel Makin and Tesni Evans winning bronze medals after fantastic scraps in the third/fourth play-off matches. The dynamic Welsh duo battled to 3-2 victories over much higher ranked players than themselves to make up for the bitter disappointments of missing out on a shot at a gold medal. The 23-year-old Makin followed up his 106 minute marathon semi-final against New Zealand’s world ranked No 9 Paul Coll, which saw him surrender a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2, with a 99 minute classic against Scotland’s Alan Clyne to take his place on the medal rostrum.
So, it is not just the legendary Welsh Sporting Trinity of Gareth Bale, Geraint Thomas and Sam Warburton who keep the flag of Whitchurch High School flying high on the world stage. Less than 24 hours after another old boy, Dan Salmon, struck gold in the Men’s Pairs in the lawn bowls with Marc Wyatt, the 17-year-old Natalia Bevan pulled off the routine of her life on Floor to strike silver in the artistic gymnastics. Bevan had score 13.00 and 13.30 in her two previous floor routines to come into the final as the fourth highest finisher, but with the pressure mounting she was almost faultless when it counted most as she thrilled the packed house with an expressive and complicated performance.