Glasgow 2014: Welsh athletics on right track says Team Wales chief

Dai Greene fails in 400m hurdles
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 August. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

A review is to be carried out into the performance of the Welsh athletics team at the Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic programme athletes have no medals with two days of competition left and look set to miss the Sport Wales target of four at Glasgow 2014.

But Chef de mission Brian Davies said it does not mean funding is at risk.

"There will be some meetings and deliberations after the Games but it won't be zero return equals zero money," said Davies.

Wales have already won 28 medals, surpassing their target of 27, with five more guaranteed in boxing.

It has been achieved despite a torrid build-up dominated by high profile pull-outs.

European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, who won bronze in Delhi 2010 and 800m runner Gareth Warburton were among them, after they both failed drugs tests.

Dai Greene failed to defend his 400m hurdles Commonwealth title after finishing fifth in his heat.

Gymnast Jones wins Wales' first gold

It was just his second race of the season after coming back from having three hernia operations in 2013.

Another Welsh athletics hope, Brett Morse, finished fifth in the discus final however Davies says he is happy with the progress being made in Welsh athletics.

"The standard at these Games for athletics is massive," Davies told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme.

"So some of those performances like Brett's fifth in the discus, were probably justifiable in terms of the investment that went into that programme.

"We know that the programme that they are trying to put in place in athletics is a good one with Scott Simpson at the helm.

"British Athletics are certainly pleased with the structures he is putting in place, it's not an overnight programme in that sense."

Team Wales have had some success in track and field, in the para-sport events, with captain Aled Sion Davies winning silver in the F42/44 discus and Rhys Jones adding a bronze in the 100m T37 final.

Those two medals were not included in the Team Wales target of four for the Games from the athletics team.

Away from Hampden Park, rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones secured six of Wales' medals including the team's first gold of the Games.

The first of those medals was a silver, as Jones and her team-mates won Wales' first rhythmic gymnastics team medal.

Wales also created history by winning their first team medal in the women's artistic gymnastics team final, taking bronze.

Davies said athletics can learn a lot from the progress made by Welsh gymnastics.

"Athletics seems to be the blue ribbon event at these multi-sports games and yet it's also the one that has the most difficulty, in sort of pitching its wares outside of the games," said Davies, "That's just a real difficulty for them.

"We tend to rely in Wales on one big name, two big names, every time and unfortunately the big names we've had have not been able to run or have been injured and have not been able to return that performance.

"I think the sport is well placed, like gymnastics, to be one of the fundamental sports, that all other sports should be looking at and thinking 'these are the kind of athletes we need in our sport'.

"So there's an opportunity for athletics I think at the grass roots level to attract more, just like gymnastics is doing and hopefully we'll get more of the elite athletes we rely on coming though."