Glasgow 2014: Wales athletes at the Commonwealth Games

Dai Greene

Sport Wales has set a target of 27 medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and August, raising the stakes following the 19 earned in Delhi in 2010.

BBC Wales Sport is reporting each team announcement as it comes, and highlight athletes to look out for.


Reigning Commonwealth champion Dai Greene, 28, and world record holder Aled Sion Davies, 23, spearhead a 33-strong athletics squad.

Aled Sion Davies with baton
Aled Sion Davies set a new world record in F42 discus despite arriving late to the tournament - he had been on top of Snowdon for the Queen's Baton Relay.

Greene took gold in the 400m hurdles in Delhi 2010 and narrowly missed out on a medal in London 2012, where he finished fourth in the final, and fellow hurdler Rhys Williams, the reigning European champion, will also be competing in the 400m hurdles.

Yet neither athlete made it to the final of the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, with both men going out at the semi-final stage - world champion Jehue Gordon, 25, will represent Trinidad & Tobago and is a favourite to take the gold medal in Glasgow.

This is further complicated as Dai Greene has questioned his chances of securing a medal as he is still recovering after undergoing three hernia operations in 2013. Team Wales have announced that despite this news, as well as the injuries that have ruled out triathletes Helen Jenkins and Non Stanford, and cyclist Becky James, the target of 27 medals will not be revised.

The gold medal prospect in athletics for Wales is double world champion Aled Sion Davies, who followed a gold medal at London 2012 with two further golds at the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Davies is still improving too - on May 31 he set a new world record in the discus F42 category with a throw of 48.78m, and he claims to be "looking forward to beating 50m this year".


Women's doubles pair Carissa Turner and Sarah Thomas will carry Wales' badminton hopes.

Carissa Turner
Carissa Turner is ranked 126th in the world as a singles competitor

Crowned champions at the Iceland International and Portuguese Open, Turner and Thomas are ranked 56th in the world as a doubles pair - although after removing all ineligible athletes from the list, Turner and Thomas would be ranked 15th.

And Turner says that the pair have "a good chance with the right draw" of winning a medal in Glasgow, following a series of good tournament performances in 2014.

The pair won two tournaments and reached two semi-finals in January and March, as well as retaining their titles at the National Championships in February.

Joe Morgan, 35, will compete at his third Commonwealth Games alongside Nick Strange in the men's doubles, with the pair ranked 73rd in the world.

Lawn Bowls

The lawn bowls squad was announced in December 2013 and features 15 competitors ranging in age from 25 to 71. Half the squad will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts.

Robert Weale holding his medal
Weale is the most-capped bowler in Welsh history

Robert Weale, 51, is one of the most experienced and decorated athletes travelling to Glasgow, having represented Wales at every Games since 1986 and amassed two gold, three silver and one bronze medal. His most recent gold came in Delhi four years ago.

Weale is the most-capped bowler in Welsh history, with 103 outdoor and 54 indoor, and expected to take his tally to 160 before Glasgow.

Others to watch are Anwen Butten and Caroline Taylor.

Butten has twice won bronze in the pairs event, in 2002 with Joanna Weale and 2010 with partner Hannah Smith.

Taylor, who will partner her in Glasgow, has won three medals at the World Outdoor Championships - a silver in the pairs and bronze in the fours in 2004, and a bronze in the triples in 2012.


A 9-strong amateur boxing team will make the trip to Glasgow.

Selby fighting
Selby is the flyweight world number one

Andrew Selby, 25, is one of the realistic medal prospects. Competing in the flyweight 52kg category, he is the current world number one in the official International Boxing Association (AIBA) standings.external-link

At the 2011 European Championships in Turkey, he became the first Welshman in 86 years to win gold, and followed that by becoming the first British fighter to defend an amateur title two years later.

Welterweight Fred Evans of Cardiff, who won silver at the 2012 Olympics, will be unable to compete after he was refused accreditation.

Sean McGoldrick, 23, was awarded gold in the bantamweight category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games after the man who beat him in the final was disqualified.

McGoldrick did not compete in the 2012 Olympics, having lost out to eventual gold medallist Luke Campbell in qualifying, but Campbell's decision to turn professional rules him out of the Games and gives McGoldrick a chance to reach the final once again.


Wales' hope for a cycling medal at the Games falls to double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas, after two-time world champion Becky James was forced to withdraw through injury.

Becky James won silver and bronze at the Delhi Games in 2010
Becky James was "terribly disappointed" to be ruled out of the Commonwealth Games

They were previously both named in the 17-member cycling squad for events on the road and in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

James, 22, won silver in the sprint and bronze in the 500m time trial in Delhi in 2010 as well as a historic double gold at the , but the world champion has aggravated a knee injury and will now be unable to compete.

Geraint Thomas, who won gold in the team pursuit at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, will be supported by fellow Team Sky rider Luke Rowe on the road.

28-year-old Thomas will be competing in the time-trial in Glasgow and will be buoyed by his silver medal performance at the in Monmouthshire. He also finished eighth in the road race in Abergavenny ahead of the Tour de France, which begins on 5 July.

World team pursuit champion Elinor Barker came fourth in the elite women's time trial, beating Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell as she came just shy of a podium finish, and the 19-year-old has told BBC Wales that she is targeting a gold medal in Glasgow.

World cup medallists Jon Mould, Sam Harrison and Owain Doull will also be hoping to contribute, though it would take a special performance from either of these men to make it to the podium.


Wales have a target of three medals for their squad of 13 gymnasts, with the main hopes coming in the rhythmic gymnastics.

Frankie Jones competes in the hoop event at London 2012
Jones represented Great Britain at London 2012, though only two of those competitors are eligible to compete in the Commonwealth Games

Frankie Jones, 23, took silver at the Delhi games in 2010 in the hoop event and at Glasgow 2014 she will be competing both individually and as part of a team.

Despite her success in Delhi, Jones came bottom of qualification in London 2012 and since then suffered a hip injury that she feared would end her career.

Yet she came second in the British Championships in May 2014 with a single mistake costing her - the gold medal was taken by fellow Welsh athlete Laura Halford, 18, who posted a score of 61.465 across the ball, hoop, ribbon and clubs.

Halford and Jones may be a medal prospect in the team event, where they will compete alongside 19-year-old Nikara Jenkins.


Huw Jones
Huw Jones featured in the Wales side that played in Manchester 2002

Wales will be sending men's and women's teams to Glasgow for the first time since 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, with the women's side including Xenna Hughes, the daughter of former Wales football manager Mark Hughes.

The women performed well in the third tier of the European Championships in 2013, winning every game to take gold, but a podium finish will likely prove beyond them.

It will be harder for the male team who will play in the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 2002.

In contrast to the women's team, the men's squad will remain in the third tier of the European Championship as they lost to winners Portugal.

Wales have never won a hockey medal at a games and recent results would suggest that it would take a series of inspired team performances to change that.


English judoka Gemma Gibbons may be ranked 17th in the world, but Powell should be wary of the London 2012 silver medallist.
English judoka Gemma Gibbons may only be ranked 17th in the world rankings, but Powell should be wary of the London 2012 silver medallist.

National coach Craig Ewers will compete as part of a 10-strong team as judo returns for the first time since 2002. The 33-year-old is the only team member with experience of a major multi-sport competition.

Natalie Powell, 23, could be a real prospect for Wales in the -78kg category. following a defeat to eventual gold medallist Marhinde Verkerk from the Netherlands, whilst silver was taken by Slovenian Anamari Velensek.

The last time the world rankings were announced, Powell was ranked 11th in the world with only one athlete ranked higher than her eligible for the Commonwealth Games - Canadian Catherine Roberge.


Sport Wales chair Laura McAllister tipped netball to be the following their impressive World Cup qualification victories over Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland.

Wales netball team post win
Wales won all three of their games to qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

12 players will be sent to Glasgow, with former captain Billy Pritchard recalled following several years out. The squad is without experienced defenders Sara Hale, Rosie Pretorius and Stephanie Williams, who have all been ruled out through injury.

And the situation surrounding ex-coach Melissa Hyndman, will not have made things any easier.

Interim manager Laura Williams, who was responsible for the three victories that secured World Cup qualification, says Wales are in Glasgow.

But Wales are currently eighth in the world rankingsexternal-link and every team above them will be competing at the Commonwealth Games, giving them only a slim chance of reaching the podium.

Rugby Sevens

Adam Thomas competed during the IRB Glasgow Sevens, where Wales beat Japan 29-12 in the final of the Shield
Adam Thomas competed during the IRB Glasgow Sevens, where Wales beat Japan 29-12 in the final of the Shield

New Blues centre Adam Thomas, 27, will captain the Wales Sevens side during Glasgow 2014.

Thomas previously led Wales Sevens during the Glasgow and London Sevens competition, having helped former club Pontypridd to their third consecutive Premiership title.

Wales have two full internationals in their side, with Scarlets full back Gareth Owen picked alongside former Dragons winger Will Harries.

But Sevens is one of the few disciplines where all the best competitors are eligible. For a podium finish, Wales would have to get by South Africa, England or Australia - not to mention New Zealand, who have not lost a single match since Sevens' inclusion in 1998.

Though Wales will not have to face Fiji, who beat Wales 26-19 in the 2013 Hong Kong Sevens final, as the Southern Hemisphere side have not been permittedexternal-link to compete in the Sevens.


Elena Allen looking happy.
Allen took the bronze medal in skeet at the ISSF World Championship in September

Elena Allen, 41, will be competing in the skeet event as part of a 14-strong shooting squad.

She came 14th in the qualifying round of the 2012 Olympics, though none of the shooters who finished ahead of her are eligible for Glasgow, and neither are any of those above her in the world rankings.external-link Their absence should give Allen a realistic chance of a first medal.


David Evans playing squash
David Evans was ranked world number three in 2001

The squash side will feature seven players across four events.

David Evans, 39, of Pontypool is a 10-time Welsh national champion, who came first in the mixed doubles at the 2014 British Open alongside Deon Saffrey.

Peter Creed, 27, will also be travelling to Glasgow. He is ranked 77th in the world and has beaten Evans to the Welsh Nationals title in recent years.


Seven swimmers are in the aquatics team, with head coach Martyn Woodroffe calling it "the strongest Welsh team that we've ever sent to a Commonwealth Games".

At the forefront is Jazz Carlin, 23, who will be competing in the 400m and 800m freestyle. She set the fastest 800m freestyle time in the world in April, breaking her own Welsh record.

Jazz Carlin celebrates with Rebecca Adlington
Jazz Carlin's chances will be improved by Rebecca Adlington's absence from Glasgow

Carlin won a bronze and silver medal in Delhi four years ago, and her chances in Glasgow are improved as Rebecca Adlington, who beat her to gold in both events in 2010, has retired.

Jemma Lowe, 24, will be competing in the 100m and 200m butterfly in Glasgow and is a realistic prospect for the latter as she holds the British short course record.

Lowe also made it to the final of the 2012 Olympics in this event, coming sixth behind opponents from non-Commonwealth countries China, Japan, Spain, Hungary and the United States.

She has all six Welsh records achievable in the butterfly - the 50m, 100m and 200m in both long and short courses - to her name, and she told BBC Wales that she wants a podium finish in Glasgow after securing 200m gold at the International Swimming Championships.

Georgia Davies, 23, will be competing in the 50m backstroke. Officially, she was 14th fastest in the world when she competed at Antwerp in January but has the quickest time of any of the eligible Commonwealth Games competitors.

Table Tennis

Charlotte Carey playing table tennis.
Charlotte Carey was only 14 when she represented Wales in Delhi

A young squad will represent Wales in Glasgow, including 20-year-old twins Angharad and Megan Phillips.

The team also includes Naomi Owen, 25, who has won the Welsh women's singles championship nine times. However, over 300 places separate her from Singaporean Tianwei Fengexternal-link in the official International Table Tennis Federation rankings.

Charlotte Carey, 17, has been named for the second time, having been part of the squad that travelled to Delhi in 2010. She also faces tough opposition - Singapore have dominated the medals table since the sport joined the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Wales have only previously managed one medal, when current player-coach Ryan Jenkins took silver in the men's doubles alongside Adam Robertson in 2002.


Wales originally intended to send an experienced side to Glasgow, with former ITU world champions Non Stanford, 25, and Helen Jenkins, 30, joined by 23-year-old Holly Lawrence.

Stanford and Stimpson
Current ITU world champion Non Stanford (right) has been ruled out of Glasgow 2014

The triathlon had been an event in which Wales had strong medal claims, but their podium hopes have plummeted.

Two-time world champion Jenkins has pulled out of the Games with a foot injury, while Stanford has been ruled out by an ankle fracture.

A replacement has yet to be named for Jenkins, while Stanford has been replaced by Carol Bridge, a 29-year-old athlete who won the Outlaw Half in 2013.


Sprinter turned weightlifter Christie Williams says her coach Michaela Breeze has had a "life-changing" impact on her.

Michaela Breeze, who won gold at the 2002 and 2006 Games and won silver as she captained the Wales team in Delhi four years ago, hopes to continue her successful record in Glasgow.

She believes the Welsh weightlifters can come back from Glasgow with - one more than the target set by Sport Wales.

Breeze came out of retirement in a bid to compete at the Games and proved her ability by breaking the British snatch record in qualifying.


Wales take a small and experienced team to Glasgow, but every athlete will need to be on top form in order to break the nation's duck.

Craig Pilling
Craig Pilling is one of three Welsh wrestlers competing in their second games

Wales have never taken a wrestling medal in the history of the Games, and it would be hard to see that changing with the squad sent to Glasgow.

Thomas Hawthorn, 18, is the youngest of the five wrestlers selected and he has no Commonwealth Games experience.

Damion Arzu, 31, Craig Pilling, 27, and Sarah Connolly, 25, all competed in 2010 - though only one of the wrestlers was able to record a victory in Delhi.

Pilling was beaten in the 55kg freestyle bronze medal match by India's Anil Kumar after he defeated Scott Gregory of England in three rounds.