Rachel James goes for gold in Glasgow as Ashley Brace can only watch

First published in Sport

THE Commonwealth Games action finally gets under way today with medals up for grabs in cycling, swimming, gymnastics, judo, triathlon and weightlifting, writes Andrew Penman.

Abergavenny’s Rachel James, big sister of double world champion Becky, is Gwent’s big medal hope on day one of competition.

James, also a double world champion in para-cycling, goes for gold in the women’s sprint B2 tandem as she pilots visually-impaired rider Rhiannon Henry around the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

Wales will also have high hopes in the pool where Jazz Carlin could be a contender in the 200m freestyle final this evening.

But one Gwent family won’t be able to bring themselves to watch as Glasgow 2014 gets under way in earnest.

Ebbw Vale boxer Ashley Brace is still coming to terms with her exclusion from the Team Wales squad due to her previous kick boxing exploits.

Brian Davies, Chef de Mission of Team Wales, said in a statement on July 7: "AIBA have taken the decision to refuse approval for her accreditation due to her previous involvement at the 2013 Unified Kickboxing World Championships which makes her ineligible to compete.

"The Welsh Boxing Association has contacted AIBA to clarify this decision and accepts their ruling."

But Torfaen Warriors boxer Brace now says she feels let down by WABA.

She said: "It just seems like it's gone from one thing to another and everyone's blaming everyone and no-one's coming up with the real reason as to why I'm not in.

"I just don't understand. My job was to box, to train hard. I done that and why couldn't they have done their job?

"It's not just me, it's my family as well.

"This official letter says I was a pro-kick boxer. I'm not a pro-kick boxer. Never was. I don't understand how I'm getting consequences for being a kick boxer.

"It's devastating and emotional - it's being on a long rollercoaster but it's never ending."

Brace's father Shaun said: "Ashley started AIBA-level boxing in January. Why, now, are things being questioned?

"I never in my whole life have experienced anything as emotional as this rollercoaster in the last three weeks defending my daughter.

"She's done everything she could. She's never hid that she was a kick boxer."

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