Dai Greene has been selected to lead the charge for the Welsh Athletics team in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games, however, two-time Commonwealth medallist, Christian Malcolm, misses out.
Welsh Athletics have selected a 33-strong team to compete at Hampden Park and on the streets of Glasgow from July 27th to August 2nd, and have set their athletes a target of four medals. The nation brought home five medals on the track in Delhi four years ago, and many of the athletes will be hoping to join the likes of Colin Jackson, Iwan Thomas and Lynn Davies who have won gold at these championships for Wales.
Dai Greene, the reigning 400m hurdles champion from Delhi, has been selected to defend his title despite not competing since the World Championships in Moscow last year. After struggling with injury last season, the Welshman will be hoping to find form in time to add to his medal haul which includes the World title from 2011. Rhys Williams, the bronze medallist in the same event from the last games, has also been called up.
Christian Malcolm, the 35 year sprinter, has failed to gain selection for the team despite his aspiration to compete in what would most likely have been his last Commonwealth Games. The 200m bronze medallist from four years ago did not meet the qualifying standards set by Welsh Athletics, and his plea was not helped as he failed to reach the 200m final of the domestic Welsh Championships last weekend.
Other notable additions to the team include the two-time Paralympic world champion, Aled Davies, who broke the world record in the F42 Discus last month with a distance of 48.78m. He joins several other para-athletes competing in Glasgow including the promising youngster, Olivia Breen in the F38 long jump.
Scott Simpson, the National Performance Coach for Welsh Athletics, said: “I have been stunned by the response of the Welsh athletes to the impending Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – their performance levels over recent weeks have sky-rocketed. We have selected one of the largest ever athletics contingents; something that truly reflects the strength and depth of the sport in Wales at this point in time. My congratulations go out to all those athletes, and their coaches, who have worked so hard over the last four years to achieve this selection.”
The size of the squad is encouraging for Welsh Athletics and will offer a great experience for many athletes. No more so than for the 16 year old sprinter Hannah Brier, who has been selected for the Women’s 4x100m relay. She joins Rachel Johncock, Mica Moore, Hannah Thomas and Lucy Evans who will all make their debuts at a Commonwealth Games in just over a months’ time. Hannah Thomas, who won the women’s 200m BUCS Indoor title in February, spoke to Vinco after the race to talk about her ambitions to compete in Scotland, so will be delighted with her selection.
It is an exciting moment for Welsh Athletics as they take one of their largest contingents to the ubquitously termed ‘friendly games’. With a mixture of experienced athletes and fresh young talent, it will be interesting viewing over the summer in Glasgow.
Full Welsh team
Men: T37 100m: Rhys Jones* 800m: Joe Thomas*, Gareth Warburton 1500m: Chris Gowell 10,000m: Adam Bitchell, Dewi Griffiths Marathon: Andrew Davies 400m hurdles: Dai Greene, Rhys Williams F42 discus: Aled Davies Discus: Brett Morse Javelin: Lee Doran Hammer: Jonathan Edwards, Osian Jones, Matthew Richards Shot put: Ryan Spencer-Jones, Gareth Winter Pole vault: Paul Walker Decathlon: Ben Gregory, David Guest, Curtis Matthews
Women: T12 100m: Tracey Hinton (Guide: Steffan Hughes) 5000m: Elinor Kirk 10,000m: Elinor Kirk 4x100m relay: Hannah Brier, Rachel Johncock, Mica Moore, Hannah Thomas, Lucy Evans F37 long jump: Beverley Jones F38 Long jump: Olivia Breen Hammer: Carys Parry Pole vault: Sally Peake
* Subject to fitness