Welsh women make a splash again with gold and silver

IT'S REAL: Wales' latest golden girl Georgia Davies checks out her medal on the podium

IT'S REAL: Wales' latest golden girl Georgia Davies checks out her medal on the podium

First published in Sport

GEORGIA Davies claimed gold for Wales in the 50m backstroke as Wales won their second swimming event in 24 hours following the exploits of Jazz Carlin on Monday evening.

It was a new British and Commonwealth Games record as she finished in a time of 27.56 secs after Carlin had earlier won a silver in the 400m freestyle and before teammate Daniel Jervis battled to  bronze over 1500m

"I'm so happy," said Davies, Wales' fourth golden girl at Glasgow 2014.

"To stand on the podium is amazing. It was everything I had dreamed of.

“It is overwhelming and does not quite seem real. Hearing the anthem and having everyone cheering and seeing my family.

“It makes everything worthwhile with all the training and the hours that had been put in.

“My coach gave me the biggest hug and everything paid off. I executed the race how he wanted me to.

“I was really nervous because I put so much pressure on myself especially after setting the fast time last night.

“I wanted to improve on that and get the record tonight which I managed so I am so happy."

Davies revealed she had been inspired by her old Swansea training partner Carlin.

“Jazz set the standard and it really motivated me," said Davies, at 23 the same age as Carlin.

“Seeing her stand on the podium and hearing the anthem right before my semi-final and I wanted to do that as well.

“We are good friends and trained together for about six years before I moved to Loughborough last year.

“We both know how hard each other trains and there is noone more deserving of her."

Davies has now set her sights on the Rio Olympics in two years while she will also compete in the European Championships next month.

“I’ll be going to the European Championships soon and be back in training pretty quickly," said Davies, who won Commonwealth bronze four years ago and competed at London 2012.

“I don’t want to stop swimming now with these quick times coming.

“This week has given me great confidence and hopefully I can keep that going and push for Rio in 2016.

“I was looking at the start race before and I know I am one of the oldest girls.

“I have had a slow progression compared to some others and I know I still have a lot to improve on.

“I can see a growth in myself and I can carry on and keep improving.”

Earlier, Carlin just failed in her bid for Commonwealth Games Glasgow golden dream double as she finished second in the 400m freestyle final and claimed silver.

Carlin had become the first Welsh woman to win a Commonwealth Games swimming gold medal in 40 years when she triumphed in the 800m freestyle on Monday evening.

The following morning Carlin admitted she had experienced little sleep and struggled in the 400m heats as she finished third in her heat and qualifying only sixth fastest overall.

But in the final she bounced back to finish second and win her third Games silver in 4:05:16 with New Zealander Lauren Boyle claiming gold in a new Games record of 4:04:47.

It meant Davies and Carlin had both won gold and silver medals as they achieved four of the six podium positions claimed in the pool which was the Glasgow medal target set for swimming. Jack Thomas and Calum Jarvis has claimed bronze "I was happy with that after last night," said Carlin.

"It was really tough. I could feel the 800 metres from yesterday in me but I will take the silver medal.

"Last night meant I had dinner late after a drugs test but I couldn't have asked for a better reception and to finish with a silver medal means I can't complain.

"Swimming events like the 400m and 800m back to back is hard and only happens in the Commonwealth programme.

"It's about making sure I recovered and got up for the final.

"I would have liked gold but I am happy to come away with the medal.

"I was so happy with the gold last night. It had meant all the hard work paid off and it was everything I had ever dreamed off.

"To come away with a silver after that was great and I have to be happy with two medals.

Carlin paid tribute to Davies as she matched her medal target.

"It was an amazing swim and it shows we are really coming along in the pool and reached our medal target.

"Some people questioned it but we managed to reach it."

Davies echoed these sentiments.

“We had a slightly bigger team than normal and probably one of our strongest ever," she added.

“Things have clicked and we have gelled really well.

“You have to be confident because if you aren’t then noone else will be."

Rising star Daniel Jervis ensured the Team Wales swimming medal tally rose to seven after claiming a thrilling shock bronze in the 1500m freestyle late on.

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