Aled Davies wins only title to escape him with Commonwealth gold

·3-min read
Aled Davies wins only title to escape him with Commonwealth gold

Aled Davies added Commonwealth Games gold to his three Paralympic titles with a dominant display in Birmingham.

Davies, 31, won shot put gold in Tokyo last year but was competing in the discus event at the Alexander Stadium, having switched back last September when he knew there was an opportunity to add the missing gold from his collection.

And his class was evident as his best effort of 51.39 put him over seven metres clear of his nearest rival, while Welsh team-mate Harrison Walsh took bronze.

“It’s a special one. It really is. I’m very proud of being Welsh, it’s very close to my heart,” said Davies, who won Commonwealth Games silver eight years ago in Glasgow.

“After Glasgow 2014 and the disappointment, I didn’t think I’d get another opportunity to do this. After just focusing on shot put solely for the last seven years, we saw this opportunity on the horizon. We knew it was going to be a short turnaround. I’ve only been doing it since September of last year, it’s been incredible.

“I picked up a little niggle in my pelvis so it was hit and miss whether I was going to be at 100 percent. I’m in a lot of pain, we’ll find out how serious it is after my scans but at the end of the day, no one is going to remember what I threw, they are going to remember the colour of the medal, and that’s a gold for Wales.”

Walsh was a promising rugby player, representing Wales at under-18 level and signing pro terms with the Ospreys, when an injury left him with permanent nerve damage in his foot.

And it is fitting that he has won his first major medal alongside Davies, who has been such a huge part of his athletics journey.

“We’re training partners, we’re around each other all the time and he’s a big inspiration of mine,” said Walsh, who was due to make his debut at last year’s Paralympics in Japan until he suffered a freak ankle injury during training.

“When I was retired from rugby and couldn’t do that anymore because of paralysis, he was the first guy that I knew in throwing. So I looked him up and started chatting and got into it. It’s so special to be out there with him competing for the country I love and I’m so proud to represent, I’ve always wanted to represent Wales. It’s just the most special country and people in the world.”

Jeremiah Azu finished best of the Brits in the blue-riband 100m final, clocking 10.19 seconds for fifth in a race won by Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala.

Azu upset English pair Reece Prescod, a European silver medallist, and Zharnel Hughes in June to win the 100m at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester.

But he was smarting after his 9.90 sec time was ruled as wind-assisted, meaning he had to settle for a place on Great Britain's relay squad at the recent World Championships.

This performance again underlined his status as the top British sprinter of the season, after England's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake pulled up clutching his thigh.

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