Rio 2016: Welsh athletes break Olympic medal record

Becky James
Becky James was double sprint and keirin world champion in 2013

Team GB's Becky James and Hannah Mills made Welsh Olympic history on day 11 at Rio 2016 as they all but secured a record ninth medal for Welsh athletes.

Cyclist James collected the eighth medal for the Welsh by adding sprint silver to her keirin silver after a 2-0 loss to Kristina Vogel in the final.

"I would never have expected to win two silvers, I'm over the moon," she said.

Sailor Mills and 470 partner Saskia Clark just need to finish Thursday's medal race to win a gold medal.

Team GB's Welsh medallists at Rio 2016
Owain Doull, Men's cycling team pursuit - GOLDElinor Barker, Women's cycling team pursuit - GOLD
Becky James, Women's cycling keirin - SILVERJazz Carlin, Women's swimming 400m freestyle - SILVER
Victoria Thornley, Women's rowing double sculls - SILVERSam Cross, Men's rugby sevens - SILVER
James Davies, Men's rugby sevens - SILVERJazz Carlin, Women's swimming 800m freestyle - SILVER
Becky James, Women's cycling sprint - SILVER

James' medal took Welsh athletes past their previous record medal haul of seven at London 2012.

The 24-year-old broke Victoria Pendleton's Olympic sprint record in Sunday's elimination races and reached the last eight of the individual track sprint by beating Virginie Cueff of France.

James beat China's Zhong Tianshi, the Olympic team sprint and reigning individual world champion, in the sprint quarter-final 2-0 in the best-of-three last eight and then saw off Elis Ligtlee 2-0 in the last four.

But after defeat by Vogel, James said: "I really wanted to win and it was disappointing.

"I felt so good and she just had the legs on me. She has been an incredible rider and, fair play, she deserves it."

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GB's James and Marchant win silver and bronze in sprint

Mills and Clark, meanwhile, have all but ensured they will improve on their Olympic second place four years ago as they hold a 20-point lead over New Zealand going into the final 470 race.

But the British pair must wait until Thursday to secure their gold medal as Wednesday's racing was cancelled due to a lack of wind.

The only thing that stands in their way of winning gold is if they receive a technical two-point penalty for failing to follow pre-medal race procedures.

"I'm lost for words, I can't believe it," said Mills as they all but guaranteed a third gold for Welsh competitors at Rio and a ninth medal overall.

"We've sailed out of our skins. It's been a marathon event."

Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills
Clark and Mills' lowest finish in the regatta was eighth

There could yet be more medals for Welsh athletes with Jade Jones the only Welsh competitor defending an Olympic title in Rio.

The 23-year-old hopes to successfully retain the -57 kg crown she won at London in 2012 on Thursday.

Former world champions Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins are among the favourites to win the women's triathlon title on Saturday, while Seren Bundy-Davies a medal contender as part of Team GB's women's 4x400m relay squad on Sunday.

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