Golden times for Wales!
Published: Tuesday 23rd Aug 2016
Written by: Ginnie James
It’s been a great summer so far; busy in work and busy at home making the most of some wonderful weather. In the last couple of weeks I have also been balancing my need for sleep and a love of everything Olympic!
A record-breaking, trend-bucking Team GB included a Welsh contingent that secured the largest overall Olympic medal haul ever won by our country men and women. For all those who haven’t been following the coverage as extensively as I have, let me take this opportunity to tell you about our wonderful Welsh athletes.
Gold came from Jade Jones, Hannah Mills, Elinor Barker and Owain Doull. Jade grew up in Flint, North East Wales and at the tender age of 23 retained her title to win her second gold medal in Teakwondo. Cardiff produced the next three with Hannah part of the winning sailing duo on the 470 class and Elinor and Owain bringing it home with their respective cycling pursuit teams.
Becky James may have been pipped to the post for the gold in the cycling keirin but she did win a second silver of the games for the women’s sprint. She is also going out with George North which prompted a discussion in my house as to whether two Olympic silver medals would trump 62 Welsh caps for rugby and a Six Nations Grand Slam. Answers on a postcard please!
Talking of rugby, the sevens tournament was one of the highlights of the Olympics for me and even though Team GB was comprehensively trounced by Fiji in the final, two of the silver medal squad were James Davies and Sam Cross. Davies plays for my team, the Scarlets, and although he may have been disappointed not to be called up for the summer tour of New Zealand it did mean he could relish the opportunity of being involved on the greatest sporting event on earth.
We didn’t do too badly in the water either with Jazz Carlin picking up two silvers in the pool, both behind the phenomenally talented American Katie Ledecky and Victoria Thornley teaming up with the rowing legend of Katherine Granger to win silver in the double sculls and the first ever Olympic medal for a Welsh woman in rowing.
Let’s not also forget Seren Bundy-Davies, the sole representative for Wales in the GB track and field team. Her games may not have gone to plan in the individual 400m event but she was part of the relay squad that won a hard-fought for brilliant bronze.
On another rugby note the 21st Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival is taking place in Cardiff this week; an opportunity for anyone involved in Vets rugby (over the age of 35) to get together and revel in meeting like-minded players from all over the world who just can’t bring themselves to give up the game! From bunches of mates wanting to relive their rugby youth to greats like Shane Williams there will be lots of games, as well as socialising and plenty of fun. This year one of the events of the festival will be an attempt to wrest the world record for the largest scrum away from England. If you are in the Cardiff area tomorrow heard to the University Sport Fields in Llanrumney where organisers hope to see 1,500 people undertake this mammoth 750 a side scrum. Will have to be seen to be believed!