Aled Davies aims to win his first Commonwealth Gold.

Paralympic, World And European Gold Medallist Aled Davies Has A Score To Settle . . . As He Pursues The Elusive Commonwealth Gold

By Owen Morgan

Commonwealth Games Wales have today revealed the latest group of athletes selected to compete at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, which includes the biggest para inclusion in Team Wales history with 19 athletes across 6 sports (Athletics, Swimming, Lawn Bowls, Triathlon, Cycling, Table Tennis).

In total 106 athletes have been announced across 11 sports, following nomination by the national governing bodies or via sport qualification, and selection ratification by the Commonwealth Games Wales selection panel.

Serial Paralympic, World and European championship gold medallist Aled Davies aims to complete his impressive set of  titles when he represents Wales at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Commonwealth gold is the only major championship medal to have eluded Davies during his stellar career having picked up silver in the discus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Speaking following the announcement of the 22-strong Welsh athletics team heading to next month’s games in Birmingham, Davies said: “To represent your country is a real honour and to represent Wales is a very special achievement in anyone’s career.

“I am such a proud Welshman and extremely patriotic, so I am delighted to be selected for my second Commonwealth Games.

“This is the one title that eludes me so finishing second in Glasgow was the biggest learning curve in my career and I am now ready to right the wrongs.”

 

In total, Team Wales will have 199 athletes competing in Birmingham this summer across 15 sports, with more females than males in the team (100 females, 99 males).

Davies, one of five para athletes selected, is also joined by Olympians and fellow Commonwealth Games medallists in the athletics squad, which was announced by Team Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a fantastic squad,” said Davies. “We are not there merely to make the numbers – we are there to take medals and be competitive. I’r gad (to the battle)”.

Welsh Athletics national coach, Chris Jones reinforced Davies’ comments regarding the strength of the team.

“Welsh athletes faced the toughest ever selection criteria for Birmingham 2022, so I am delighted to confirm 22 athletes will be joining Team Wales from athletics,” said Jones.

“I am proud that the work and dedication of the whole team has been recognised by this selection and I am excited to see how the athletes perform.

“Within the team we have a great mix of experienced athletes who will be returning for their second and third Commonwealth Games, combined with 11 athletes who will be making their debuts at Birmingham.”

One of those returning for a second Commonwealth Games is race walker Bethan Davies, who claimed bronze four years ago on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Race walkers Bethan Davies (left) and Heather Lewis have been selected to Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

The Cardiff athlete is delighted to be selected again: “I feel truly honoured to have been selected by Team Wales to represent at the Commonwealth Games for a second time, it’s a sense of pride like no other.

“Since my bronze medal winning performance over 20km on the Gold Coast roads there have been changes to the walks.

“The Commonwealth Games distance has dropped to 10,000m and is now track based which increases the technical scrutiny, potentially meaning even more drama and excitement.”

Davies and the rest of the team are excited to be competing at what is virtually a home games. “I cannot wait to share this experience with more of my family and friends and showcase the event I love to an almost home crowd. Cymru am byth!”

Davies will be joined in the race walk by Pembrokeshire Harrier Heather Lewis. The Welsh women are by some distance the top two female race walkers in the United Kingdom.

Other medallists from the Gold Coast games who will be heading for the midlands  are T38 100m runner Olivia Breen and  Melissa Courtney Bryant, who claimed bronze in the 1500m in Australia.

The Poole AC athlete has been dogged by injury over the past 18 months, but has returned to form and fitness in recent weeks, clocking a World Athletics Championships qualifying time in Ostrava last month and running strongly at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Sunday.

Jake Heyward, who finished second over 1500m in Rabat at the weekend, is also included in the team for what will be his first Commonwealth Games.

Like Courtney-Bryant, Heyward’s career has been hampered by injury, but the Cardiff athlete returned to fitness last season to claim a place in the Olympic 1500m final in Tokyo and set a string of new Welsh middle distance records.

Already this season, the Oregon based athlete has improved his own Welsh mile best.

Two more Olympians feature in the squad – shot-putter Adele Nicoll, who represented Great Britain in the bobsleigh at the Beijing Winter Games earlier this year, and Joe Brier, a member of the GB 4x400m squad at the Tokyo Olympics.

Brier is joined in the team by sister Hannah, who will be going to her second Commonwealth Games having competed over 100m in Glasgow.

Jeremiah Azu.

Another Welsh sprint star selected is European Under-23 100m champion Jeremiah Azu.

Last month the Cardiff athlete was in winning form at the Wanda Diamond League meeting held at the revamped Alexander Stadium where the Commonwealth Games athletics will be staged.

Fiona Reid, chief executive officer of Sport Wales described the Welsh squad as: “An inclusive team full of great talent.

““It is so exciting to see the Welsh Athletics Commonwealth Games Team announced today with such a fantastic group of athletes – some of whom have previously competed on the International stage while others will gain invaluable experience being in Birmingham.”

In addition to those athletes selected by Team Wales following the nomination process, Welsh Athletics accepted an invitation direct from Commonwealth Games Federation for Cardiff’s Lauren Evans to represent Wales in the women’s heptathlon.

TEAM WALES ATHLETE SELECTION, BIRMINGHAM 2022

Athletics/Athletau: (22)

ATHLETE EVENT COACH CLUB
JEREMIAH AZU 100m Helen James Cardiff Athletics
OLIVIA BREEN 100m, T38 Aston Moore City of Portsmouth
JOE BRIER 400m Matt Elias Swansea Harriers
HANNAH BRIER 200m Matt Elias Swansea Harriers
NATASHA COCKRAM Marathon Robert Hawkins Micky Morris Racing Team
PIERS COPELAND 1500m Bob Smith Pontypridd Roadents
MELISSA COURTNEY-BRYANT 1500m Rob Denmark Poole AC
ALED DAVIES Discus, F42-44/F61-64 Ryan Spencer Jones Cardiff Athletics
BETHAN DAVIES 10,000m race walk Andi Drake Cardiff Athletics
CLARA EVANS Marathon Chris Jones Cardiff Athletics
LAUREN EVANS Heptathlon Fyn Corcoran Cardiff Athletics
DEWI GRIFFITHS Marathon Kevin Evans Swansea Harriers
HEATHER LEWIS 10,000m race walk Chris Jones Pembrokeshire Harriers
OSIAN JONES Hammer Carys Parry Liverpool Harriers
RHYS JONES 100m, T38 Kevin Williams Disability Sport Wales
JAKE HEYWARD 1500m Mark Rowland Cardiff AAC
JONNY HOPKINS 3000m steeplechase Tomas Plibersek Swansea Harriers
JENNY NESBITT 5000m Chris Jones Cardiff Athletics
ADELE NICOLL Shot put Ryan Spencer Jones Birchfield Harriers
JULIE ROGERS Discus, F42-44/F61-64 Greg Thompson Disability Sport Wales
AMBER SIMPSON Hammer Gareth Simpson Deeside AC
HARRISON WALSH Discus, F42-44/F61-64 Nathan Stephens Disability Sport Wales

Boxing/Bocsio: (9)

  • Zoe Andrews – 57kg
  • Taylor Bevan – 80kg
  • Ioan Croft – 67kg
  • Garan Croft – 71kg
  • Jake Dodd – 51kg
  • Rosie Eccles – 70kg
  • Owain Harris – 54kg
  • Helen Jones – 50kg
  • Haaris Khan – 75kg

Cycling/Beicio: (25)

  • Elynor Backstedt – Road Race, Time Trial
  • James Ball – Men’s Tandem B
  • Elinor Barker – Road Race
  • Megan Barker – Road Race, Team Pursuit
  • Ella Barnwell – Scratch, Team Pursuit
  • Rhys Britton – Team Pursuit, Points, Scratch
  • Ellie Coster – Team Sprint, 500TT
  • Leah Dixon – Road Race, Time Trial
  • Owain Doull – Road Race, Time Trial
  • Rhian Edmunds – Team Sprint, Sprint, Keirin
  • Emma Finucaine – Team Sprint, Sprint, 500TT, Keirin
  • Joe Holt – Team Pursuit, Points, Scratch
  • Nia Holt – Women’s Tandem B
  • Eluned King – Road Race, Team Pursuit
  • Harvey McNaughton – Team Pursuit, Kilo
  • Anna Morris – Road Race, Time Trial, Individual Pursuit, Points, Scratch
  • Alex Pope – Men’s Tandem B
  • William Roberts – Team Pursuit, Individual Pursuit, Points
  • Jessica Roberts – Road Race, Team Pursuit
  • Luke Rowe – Road Race
  • Joshua Tarling – Team Pursuit, Points, Individual Pursuit
  • Geraint Thomas – Road Race, Time Trial
  • Lowri Thomas – Team Sprint, Sprint, 500TT, Keirin
  • Stephen Williams – Road Race

*Alex Pope (Pilot – Steff Lloyd), James Ball (Pilot – Matt Rotherham), Nia Holt (Pilot – Amy Cole),

Diving/Deifio: (3)

  • Lucy Hawkins – Women’s 10m Platform individual
  • Aidan Heslop – Men’s 10m Platform individual, Mixed synchronised 10m platform
  • Ruby Thorne – Mixed synchronised 10m platform

Lawn Bowls/Bowlio: (14)

  • Jarrad Breen – Fours, Pairs
  • Paul Brown – Pairs,
  • Anwen Button – Fours, Triples
  • Owain Dando – Fours, Triples
  • Laura Daniels – Triples, Singles
  • Gordon Llewellyn – Pairs
  • Sara Nicholls – Fours, Pairs
  • Ross Owen – Fours, Triples
  • Daniel Salmon – Pairs, Singles
  • Chris Sprigs – Pairs,
  • Caroline Taylor – Fours, Pairs
  • Julie Thomas – Pairs
  • Jon Tomlinson – Fours, Triples
  • Ysie White – Fours, Triples

VI Mixed Pairs Directors;

Mark Adams (Julie Thomas), John Wilson (Gordon Llewellyn)

Squash/Sboncen: (5)

  • Peter Creed – singles/doubles
  • Emyr Evans – singles/doubles
  • Tesni Evans – singles/doubles
  • Joel Makin – singles/doubles
  • Emily Whitlock – singles/doubles

Judo/Jiwdo (6)

  • Ashleigh-Anne Barnkel – U48kg
  • Natalie Powell – U78kg
  • Gregg Varey – U66kg
  • Daniel Rabbitt – U60kg
  • Jasmine Hacker-Jones – U63kg
  • Callum Bennett – U60kg

Swimming/Nofio: (20)

  • Kieran Bird – Men’s Freestyle
  • Kyle Booth – Men’s Breaststroke
  • Dylan Broom – Men’s 200m Freestyle S14
  • Thomas Carswell – Men’s Freestyle
  • Charlotte Evans – Women’s Backstroke
  • Lewis Fraser – Men’s Butterfly
  • Medi Harris – Women’s Backstroke
  • Calum Jarvis – Men’s Freestyle
  • Daniel Jervis – Men’s Freestyle
  • Daniel Jones – Men’s Freestyle
  • Harriet Jones – Women’s Butterfly
  • Rebecca Lewis – Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM10
  • Bradley Newman – Men’s Breaststroke
  • Lily Rice – Women’s 100m Backstroke S8
  • Matthew Richards – Men’s Freestyle
  • Joseph Small – Men’s Backstroke
  • Rebecca Sutton – Women’s Freestyle
  • Alys Thomas – Women’s  Butterfly
  • Liam White – Men’s Backstroke
  • Meghan Willis – Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM10

Table Tennis/Tenis Bwrdd: (7)

  • Charlotte Carey
  • Callum Evans
  • Anna Hursey
  • Joshua Stacey
  • Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang
  • Lara Whitton
  • Grace Williams

Judo/Jiwdo (6)

  • Ashleigh-Anne Barnkel – U48kg
  • Natalie Powell – U78kg
  • Gregg Varey – U66kg
  • Daniel Rabbitt – U60kg
  • Jasmine Hacker-Jones – U63kg
  • Callum Bennett – U60kg

Triathlon/Triathlon: (6)

  • Dominic Coy – Mixed Relay and Individual
  • Rhys Jones – Paratriathlon (Pilot – Rhys James)
  • Iestyn Harret – Mixed Relay and Individual
  • Olivia Mathias – Mixed Relay and Individual
  • Isabel Morris – Individual Female
  • Non Stanford – Mixed Relay and Individual
  • Rhys Jones (Pilot – Rhys James)

Weightlifting/Codi Pywsau: (7)

  • Hannah Powell – 49kg
  • Catrin Jones – 55kg
  • Christie Williams – 64kg
  • Faye Pittman – 71kg
  • Amy Salt – 76kg
  • Michael Farmer – 73kg
  • Jordan Sakkas – 109kg

Wrestling/Reslo: (2)

  • Shannon Alex Harry – u57kg
  • Curtis Dodge – u74kg

Names to be announced:

Gymnastics

Men’s Rugby 7s

Women’s Hockey

Men’s Hockey

Netball

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