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.
The Warren Gatland verdict What’s the overwhelming emotion at the end of that one? “I suppose a bit of relief I think. We started so well and looked comfortable and then five minutes before half time and five minutes after half time weren’t the best periods of the game for us. “I think we deserved the win and we are pleased with lots of things especially given the injuries that we had and young players that we blooded and the way we are trying to be positive.
Let’s face it, if you can beat the Springboks with a makeshift front and back row, new centre pairing and a side that is missing six British & Irish Lions, things can’t be too bad! For some of us who waited more than half our lives for a single win over South Africa, we are now basking in a golden era of three on the bounce at home. So let’s not be mealy-mouthed about it, however tense it was at the end, and take the win and move on. Winning was important given that every other home nation had taken a southern hemisphere scalp last month and it looks as though the 2018 Six Nations is going to be one of the most competitive of all-time. So what did we learn over the four games this autumn?
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