Eight Loughborough athletes have been named in the final Team Wales Commonwealth Games squad ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which will be taking place on Australia’s Gold Coast between the 4-15 April.
Already named when para invites were confirmed just before the turn of the year, Hollie Arnold and Olivia Breen will take their places in the athletics squad. One of the most seasoned athletes to have been selected yet still one of the youngest, Arnold is world-record holder, triple World champion and 2016 Paralympic champion. The javelin star will most certainly be looking for another gold medal to add to her growing collection at her first Commonwealth Games.
Olivia Breen also has an impressive track record, having won her maiden gold at last summer’s Para Athletics World Championships in London. Relatively new to long jump, Breen will compete in that event plus the 100m on Australia’s Gold Coast, having finishing fourth at the last Games in Glasgow four years ago.
Another of the track and field stars named in Wales’ squad is current Economics with Accounting student David Omoregie. Despite this being his first major Games, the 110mH hurdler has an impressive junior resume, having set both European and World Junior records indoors over the 60m hurdles. After having won a bronze medal at 2014 World Junior Championships and gold at the European U23 Championships twelve months later, Omoregie will now be looking to get as close as possible to his first senior medal when he competes down under.
Alumnus Ben Gregory has also secured selection for his third consecutive Commonwealth Games and the decathlete will be looking to improve on his sixth place finishes from both Melbourne and Glasgow.
The final two track and field athletes are Loughborough based Melissa Courtney and Dai Greene. Courtney is an athlete on the up, and she’ll look to further improve on her personal bests she set last year in both the 1500m and the 5000m, as well as using the experience gained from a fifth place finishing at the 2017 Universiade. Greene meanwhile is at the other end of the spectrum, and looking to make a comeback after being haunted with injuries over the past few years. To make sure of his seat on the place he must achieve the 400m hurdles qualifying standard of 49.50 seconds before March 4th, which, injury permitting, shouldn’t be a problem for the former European, World and Commonwealth champion.
Elsewhere, young triathlete Olivia Mathias has been selected for the mixed relay after an impressive 2017, which culminated with fifth and sixth place finishes at the European and World Junior Triathlon Championships. Part of the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre, the first year University student will make both her senior and Commonwealth debut in Australia.
In the pool, current student Harriet West will also make her Commonwealth Games bow, having gained selection after a raft of personal best swims in the butterfly and backstroke over the last 12 months.