Paralympics gold for Aled Davies in discus 'tremendous'

Aled Davies
Image caption Aled Davies wrapped in the Union Jack, and a Welsh flag, after his triumph

Congratulations have been pouring in for Aled Davies, who won gold medal in the discus at his first Paralympics.

The Bridgend-born athlete, 21, now living in Cardiff, followed the bronze he won in Friday's F42/44 shot put.

"It was a tough competition, but I dug deep," said an emotional Davies.

The chair of Sport Wales said it was "tremendous" and that they were "immensely proud of him", while First Minister Carwyn Jones called him an "inspiration".

Mr Jones, also the assembly member for Bridgend, said: "Congratulations to Aled Sion Davies for today adding a gold medal in the discus to his bronze in the shot put at the Paralympic Games.

"His skill and determination to claim two medals at these games will be an inspiration to others. Welsh competitors have made a great start to the game, with two gold medals already, and I'm sure there will be more success to come."

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan added her congratulations on Twitter for "another great medal this time a gold What a great achievement!!"

Other messages came from training partner and javelin thrower, Nathan Stephens, and former Olympic 400m runner Iwan Thomas.

His parents watched his win but they had been due to miss Sunday evening's medal ceremony because they did not have tickets, until a sponsor stepped in.

They have been staying in a caravan in London, along with Davies' girlfriend, and his brother and sister-in-law who flew over from Australia.

Sport Wales chair, Prof Laura McAllister, said: "We have known of Aled's talent for some time here in Wales but he has well and truly announced himself to the world in this Paralympic Games."

She said to win gold, as well as bronze in a different discipline, was a "tremendous achievement".

Jon Morgan, executive director of Disability Sport Wales, said he had made "an incredible debut" at the Paralympics.

'Incredible athletes'

Davies was born with a combined disability in his right leg which limits its functionality and means it has missing bones, and no muscle growth or ligaments.

He has put behind him the disappointment of not being selected for the Beijing Games and a serious knee injury in recent years.

"I couldn't wait to get back out there this morning," said Davies, who threw a European record. "I learned a lot from the shot put. It wasn't going to be easy as there were a lot of incredible athletes out there."

"Four years of hard work have gone into this. It's nice to give something back to everyone. I'm just so happy I performed."

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