Rower Tom James wins Wales' second Olympic gold

Great Britain's Alex Gregory, Pete Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge celebrate after winning the gold medal in the men's four final A of the rowing event during the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney
Image caption Tom James (third from left) becomes only the fifth Welshman to win more than one Olympic gold medal

The second gold won by a Welsh Olympian has been claimed by rower Tom James, from Wrexham.

The double-gold medal winner came first in the coxless four race at London 2012 - four years after his victory at the Beijing Olympics.

The win came the morning after cyclist Geraint Thomas and his team won the men's pursuit in the Velodrome.

Within minutes of the rowing at Eton Dorney, victory, social media site Twitter was alive with tributes.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Many congratulations to Tom James on winning Wales' second gold medal at London 2012 and his second gold in consecutive Olympic Games.

"An outstanding achievement. Team GB put in a huge performance today in an extremely tight race. Wales is very proud of what Tom has accomplished."

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan tweeted: "Helen Jenkins - what a star!!! And Tom James a brilliant gold for #TeamGB and #wales."

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Tweeted: "Amazing gold in the mens four #rowing. Congratulations to @TeamGB's Alex Gregory, Tom James, Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge."

James became only the fifth Welshman of all time to win more than one Olympic gold medal. Less than 24 hours earlier, Geraint Thomas became the fourth.

The pair join early 1900s swimmer and water polo player Paulo Radmilovic, 1930s rower Hugh Jumbo Edwards and 1970s equestrian Richard Meade.

James was treated earlier this year for a heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation.

Glyn Davies, Montgomeryshire MP, tweeted: "Tom James Welsh hero - especially for anyone suffering from atrial fibrillation. Message is even with this heart prob its poss to win gold".

GB Rowing Team tweeted: "This is us, this is our day."

Sport Wales tweeted: "GOLD! @TomJames2012 brings it home for Wales! Brilliant!! Defends his title. What a champion!!!"

The deputy head at James' former school, Kings' School, Chester, tweeted: "Tom James OKS Olympic Gold (again!). Mens' Fours London 2012. Well Done!"

Image caption About 60 people cheered James on at a party in Christleton, Chester

Wrexham website tweeted: "Coedpoeth's (and Wrexhams) very own Tom James hasjust won GOLD in the rowing at London 2012 Olympics!"

Sport Wales chief executive, Dr Huw Jones, said: "As a fellow Wrexham lad, it is particularly pleasing to see Tom doing well on the world stage."

About 60 people including pupils and parents from James' former school, Kings in Chester, attended a party in Christleton to cheer him on.

Vicky Titmuss, from the school said: "I'm incredibly proud on behalf of everybody at the school.

"We are a close community at King's. I feel like he's my son."

Image caption Helen Jenkins is an "inspiration", Bridgend Athletics club said

She said she could not sleep overnight and awoke early "incredibly nervous" ahead of the race.

Among people at the party were parents of children who raced with James when he was a schoolboy.

Ex-King's pupil and fellow Wrexham rower Chris Bartley won silver medal in the lightweight fours earlier this week.

He said: "It has been brilliant having the support of the old school."

Earlier on Saturday, triathlete Helen Jenkins was disappointed not to gain a medal, coming fifth in the women's race at Hyde Park.

World champion Jenkins, 28, from Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, maintained a strong position until the final stages of the race, and fans paid tribute to her determined performance.

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