The highs and lows on the way to Glasgow


The Commonwealth Games is starting next week, and S4C will be showing two programmes profiling some of the Team Wales medal hopefuls, as they prepare for the Games, to be shown on S4C on Thursday 17, and Friday 18 July.

Over the past few months cameras have been following the athletes' preparations for the Games, as they face hard work, sacrifices and for some, heartbreak, on the journey to Scotland. Viewers can follow their progress in the BBC Cymru Wales produced Gemau’r Gymanwlad: Y Ras i Glasgow.

Wales’ team captain is the shot and discus thrower from Bridgend, Aled Siôn Davies. We’ll follow Aled’s journey in his quest to win Commonwealth gold medals as he tries to emulate his success at the London 2012 Paralympics, where he won a gold medal in the discus.

"I’m leading the team out and I can’t wait; it’s a huge privilege for me. I want to show everyone I’m proud to be Welsh, and I can’t wait to wear the Welsh jersey. I’m only the second Paralympian to lead the Welsh team after Dame Tammy Grey-Thompson. There aren't many people who can say they’ve been captain of Wales at the Commonwealth Games."

Aled, 23, lives in Newport and is hopeful of winning a gold medal for Wales at the Games.

"The training is going well, I’m more powerful, quicker, and I recently broke a world record. I’ve also enjoyed having the cameras following me; I like to share my experiences with everyone. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and I want everyone to support me. I’ve been dreaming about hearing Land of my Fathers, and standing on the podium with a medal for years now. I hope my dream will come true."

As well as showing the athletes' enthusiasm and determination, the cameras will also capture the disappointment faced by one medal hopeful. World Triathlon Champion Non Stanford, 25, originally from Swansea, faced anguish and disappointment, when she suffered an injury which will prevent her representing Wales at the Games.

"It’s a huge disappointment for me, since I was very young I’ve wanted to represent Wales, I’ve aspired to do that. I feel I’ve let my friends and my family down. But I can't do anything about it; that’s the nature of the sport and I have to concentrate on my recovery," says Non.

The first of the two programmes on Thursday will follow Non Stanford; boxer Zack Davies from Gorseinon, and Coral Kennedy from Llanddeiniol, Ceredigion who is British air pistol champion. The second programme on Friday will follow the charismatic Welsh captain Aled Siôn Daives, the cyclist from Cardiff, Owain Doull, and the 20 year old table tennis twins from Denbigh, Megan and Angharad Phillips.

Angharad says that being a twin encourages her to be more competitive. "I suppose it could be a problem that both of us are so competitive – but we push each other to train harder! We never thought receiving a table tennis set as a Christmas present one year would change our lives so much."

Gemau'r Gymanwlad: Y Ras i Glasgow is broadcast on Thursday, 17 and Friday 18 July 9.30pm (English subtitles). A BBC Cymru Wales production for S4C


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