Boxer Ashley Williams secures medal 31 for Wales

VICTORY: Wales' Ashley Williams celebrates his win against Malaysia's Muhamad Redzuan

VICTORY: Wales' Ashley Williams celebrates his win against Malaysia's Muhamad Redzuan

First published in Sport

WELSH boxing has recovered from a disastrous start to the Commonwealth Games to provide the team with at least four medals at Glasgow 2014.

With Fred Evans and Ashley Brace forced out of the Games before they even started and world number one Andrew Selby beaten on the first day the omens weren’t good.

But Bridgend’s Ashley Williams and Newport’s Sean McGoldrick have followed in the footsteps of Joe Cordina and Nathan Thorley in winning their quarter-finals to guarantee themselves a medal.

Williams’ unanimous win over Malaysian Muhamad Fuad Mohd Redzuan secured medal number 31 for Team Wales – equalling the record haul from Manchester 2002.

And it meant that the boxers had met their own target of four medals and exceeded their official Team Wales target of two.

“We have reached the target we set ourselves,” said an excited Williams.

“We said four medals from the original 11 squad and have managed it from only nine.

“What does that say about the Welsh boxing programme? I can tell you what that means. It means we are doing brilliant.

“People can say whatever they like on Facebook and Twitter. We have proven it in these games that the Welsh programme is working.”

Williams had to work hard against the elusive Malaysian but was a clear winner in the end.

“He put on a brilliant performance. He is very experienced and was in the last Games,” said Williams.

“I was watching him on television last time but I was in the ring fighting him this time and I put on the performance I knew I could.

“We are doing brilliant and it shows how far Welsh sport has come.

“We are a close knit nation and we all pull together.

“We are very tight in the village and there is a lot of togetherness and everyone is excelling in everything.”

There will be no medal for Charlene Jones from Pembroke Dock, however.

She missed out on becoming the first Welsh woman to win a Commonwealth Games medal after losing to Indian lightweight Laishram Devi in the quarter-finals.

"It was a really close fight," she said.

"We have similar styles and we are similar heights.

"I am gutted not to win a medal but I will go back to the gym now and will look to the future.

"I have had the honour of being the first Welsh woman to fight at a Commonwealth Games and I will never forget the last few days.”

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