Wales

Olympic rowers Tom James, James Bartley's Wrexham honour

Tom James and Chris Bartley
Image caption Wrexham rowers Tom James and Chris Bartley are being honoured by the council

Wrexham's Olympic medal rowers have been honoured in a civic reception outside the town's Guildhall.

Double gold winner Tom James and silver medallist Chris Bartley, both 28, were welcomed home in a public event at Llwyn Isaf.

Bartley said the event was special as his parents had been unable to attend the huge athletes' parade in London after the Games.

Both men said they hoped to compete in the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Bartley from Farndon became the first Welsh Olympic medallist at London 2012 with silver in the lightweight men's four.

He had to be helped from his boat and then onto the medal podium, and later said that while happy with the achievement it had come with extreme pain.

While James had an official gold post box painted in honour of his achievements, Bartley's friends covered his village post box in silver foil for fun.

James, who grew up in Coedpoeth, is to be granted the freedom of Wrexham borough in recognition of his achievement at the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Games, where he won gold with his team mates in the men's coxless four.

Both had been pupils at King's School in Chester where they rowed.

Guard of honour

Wrexham's young sporting ambassadors and elite athletes formed a special guard of honour to escort the athletes to the Guildhall during Friday's event.

The rowers then received a civic welcome by the mayor before making an appearance on the balcony.

Meanwhile, sporting clubs and associations from around the county borough provided demonstrations and tasters to encourage youngsters to take up sport.

James and Bartley said they hoped to be fit enough to compete for a place in the next Olympics.

"It is a big thing for both myself and Chris to be honoured by our home town and we're both very grateful to the people of Wrexham for all the support they have given us," said James.

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