Warren Gatland will go into the Six Nations with Wales just where he wants them – mocked or ignored or unfancied. The autumn series may have been saved from negative equity on Wales’ part by a narrow victory over South Africa, but that has convinced few people that Gatland’s team are anything but outsiders for the tournament that begins in eight weeks’ time. The bookies have Wales as fourth favourites behind England, Ireland and Scotland, with only France and Italy fancied less.
Lewis Oliva became the latest Welsh cyclist to pick up a medal at the World Cup track cycling as he produced the best result of his career to win silver in the keirin in Canada. Already this winter Jon Mould, Elinor Barker and Manon Lloyd have enjoyed medal success on the boards and Oliva, studying to become a doctor at Cardiff University, joined them with the race of his life. The 2014 Welsh Commonwealth Games representative had earlier won the British keirin title this year.
Jordan Hart’s dream of winning on home soil came unstuck on the final day of the Yonex Welsh Badminton International in Cardiff. The Welsh No 1 reached the semi-finals after despatching the No 5 seed, France’s Yaelle Hoyaux (21-18, 21-9), in the last eight. Earlier she had beaten Ireland’s Rachael Darragh (21-14, 21-13) and taken a mere 16 minutes to overpower England’s Emily Beach (21-4, 21-9). Seeded No 3, Hart’s success meant she had to meet India’s No 1 seed Tanvi Lad in the semi-finals. She gave her a tougher than expected time in the first game, finally going down 21-18, before losing the second game 21-9.
Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung Yueng says the club are approaching crunch time ahead of their most significant match of the season. The Swans host West Bromwich Albion next Saturday, aware that another defeat could leave them a huge seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League. A victory, though – which would be their first in eight matches – could conceivably close that gap to a single point.
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