EDITOR'S CHAIR: Team Wales deserves an extra medal for beating the doubters

EDITOR'S CHAIR: Team Wales deserves an extra medal for beating the doubters

Wales' Francesca Jones with her Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Finals gold medal and three silver medals, at the SSE Hydro during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Silver medal winner Francesca Jones with her medal for the Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Ball Final at the SSE Hydro during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 26, 2014. See PA story COMMONWEALTH R

Gold medal winner Wales' Natalie Powell after her Women's -78kg Gold Medal Judo contest at the SECC during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Wales' Jazz Carlin poses with her Gold medal as she celebrates her victory on the podium, in the Women's 800m Freestyle Final at Tollcross Swimming Centre, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monda

Wales' Georgia Davies collects her gold medal for the Women's 50m Backstroke Final, at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 29, 2014. See PA sto

Wales' Georgia Davies collects her gold medal for the Women's 50m Backstroke Final, at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 29, 2014. See PA sto

Wales' Jazz Carlin on the podium following her victory in the Women's 800m Freestyle Final at Tollcross Swimming Centre, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 28, 2014. See PA story COMMO

First published in News
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South Wales Argus: NEW EDITOR: Kevin Ward by

WELL, we got that wrong then.

The Argus was among many other media commentators who thought Team Wales would struggle to hit its 27-medal target at the Commonwealth Games following the various misfortunes that befell the team before the start of the event.

There were the suspensions of athletes Rhys Williams and Gareth Warburton after failed drugs tests, the withdrawal of boxers Fred Evans and Ashley Brace in controversial circumstances, the injuries to Becky James, Helen Jenkins and Non Stanford.

Everything seemed to be conspiring against Team Wales and its target of 27 medals.

We were wrong to doubt our competitors.

For every suspension there has been a Frankie Jones, for every withdrawal there has been a Jazz Carlin, for every injury there has been a Natalie Powell.

Team Wales hit its medals target on Tuesday evening. It is a huge achievement for a small nation.

There have been brilliant performances right across the sporting spectrum, from rhythmic gymnastics to judo, from swimming to boxing.

The Games themselves have been a joy to watch.

The Olympics are a spectacle, and London rightly took the plaudits for a hugely successful Games in 2012.

But Glasgow has also done itself proud, embracing the concept of the Commonwealths as the Friendly Games, and creating an event that is both international and homely.

With the exception of a few transport issues at the start of the Games, the event has been incredibly well organised.

The opening ceremony was a bit of a Marmite (or perhaps Irn Bru) affair, but the competition has been fierce, emotional and memorable.

Who can forget the look of utter bemusement on the face of Scottish swimmer Ross Murdoch when he won his gold medal against all the odds, or the sight of Jazz Carlin fighting back the tears as Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau played to mark Wales' first swimming gold for 40 years, or the huge Hampden roar that greeted visually-impaired Libby Clegg and her guide runner Mikail Huggins as they won the 100 metres?

There have been magical moments sprinkled across the Games and there will no doubt be many more between now and the closing ceremony at the weekend.

Team Wales has done a fantastic job. With boxing medals guaranteed, the 27-medals target will be well beaten.

There are still questions to be answered about the reasons for the failed drugs tests, and for the apparently poor administration that led to some of the Wales team being unable to compete.

But all of that can wait until the end of the Games.

For now, let's congratulate every Welsh medal winner so far - and look forward to a few more before the end of Glasgow 2014.

I've never been more delighted to be proved absolutely wrong about something.

Perhaps Team Wales deserves another medal for beating the doubters.

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