Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics: How the Welsh athletes did at Tokyo 2020

By Tom BrownBBC Sport Wales
Hannah Mills (l), Aled Sion Davies (c) and Lauren Price (r) celebrate their Olympic and Paralympic gold medals in Tokyo.
Hannah Mills (l), Aled Sion Davies (c) and Lauren Price (r) celebrate their Olympic and Paralympic gold medals in Tokyo.

After months of uncertainty, the first Olympics and Paralympics to be postponed finally went ahead in Tokyo.

Amongst all the masks, Covid-19 safety protocols and lack of crowds were many memorable moments.

The Welsh athletes in Tokyo this summer won 22 medals - eight at the Olympics and 14 at the Paralympics.

History was made as Ystrad Mynach's Lauren Price became the nation's first Olympic boxing champion and Welshpool's Jim Roberts helped Britain to its first wheelchair rugby gold.

Here is a reminder of those medal-winning moments.

The Olympic Games

Lauren Price and Hannah Mills have gone from a kickboxing club in Caerphilly and sailing on Llanishen reservoir to becoming the undisputed best in their sports.

Lauren Price became the first Welsh fighter to win an Olympic boxing gold medal as she beat China's Li Qian in the women's middleweight final.
Lauren Price became the first Welsh fighter to win an Olympic boxing gold medal as she beat China's Li Qian in the women's middleweight final

Price's middleweight gold on the final day of the Olympics saw the 27-year-old become Wales' first boxing champion - man or woman - in the history of the Games.

Sailor Mills' win alongside Eilidh McIntyre in the women's 470 was her second consecutive gold and it meant she became not only Wales' most successful female Olympian of all time, but the greatest female sailor in Olympic history.

Hannah Mills became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history as she and Eilidh McIntyre won 470 gold at Tokyo 2020.
Hannah Mills became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history as she and Eilidh McIntyre won 470 gold at Tokyo 2020

There was also history in the pool as Wales won its first swimming gold medal in more than a century. And it was won by not one, but two Welshmen as Matt Richards and Calum Jarvis were part of the winning men's 4x200m freestyle relay team.

Eighteen-year-old Richards also became Wales' youngest Olympic champion.

That accolade was previously held by Jade Jones after her taekwondo gold aged 19 at London 2012. She may have fallen short in her attempt to win an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic gold in Tokyo, but there was still some Welsh success in the taekwondo.

Lauren Williams - who trained at the same kickboxing club as Lauren Price when they were younger - won silver in the women's -67kg category. A first medal at the 22-year-old's first Games.

Wales' Williams won her won a silver medal in the women's -67kg taekwondo competition at her debut Olympics after losing to Croatia's Matea Jelic in the final.
Lauren Williams won her won a silver medal in the women's -67kg taekwondo competition at her debut Olympics after losing to Croatia's Matea Jelic in the final

In cycling, Elinor Barker followed up her team pursuit gold at Rio 2016 with silver in the event in Tokyo.

In the rowing, there was a silver medal for Tom Barras as part of the men's quadruple sculls and bronze for Joshua Bugajski and Oliver Wynne-Griffith in the men's eight, an especially nice moment for Wynne-Griffith after his grandfather, Harold Rickett, came fourth in the same event at the 1932 Games.

Wales internationals Leah Wilkinson and Sarah Jones - who got engaged in 2019 - helped Great Britain to bronze in the women's hockey.
Wales internationals Leah Wilkinson and Sarah Jones - who got engaged in 2019 - helped Great Britain to bronze in the women's hockey

There was also a bronze medal in the women's hockey for Leah Wilkinson and Sarah Jones, who moved on to planning their wedding after returning from the Games.

The Paralympic Games

A relatively modest Welsh contingent of 21 athletes brought home an impressive 14 medals.

Welshman Roberts was part of the British team that made history in Tokyo - winning the nation's first Paralympic title in wheelchair rugby.
Jim Roberts was part of the British team that made history in Tokyo by winning the nation's first Paralympic title in wheelchair rugby

Jim Roberts took the first gold. The 33-year-old from Welshpool helped Britain to an historic title in the wheelchair rugby - the first European nation to do so.

David Smith made history in the boccia as he retained his individual BC1 title and in doing so confirmed his status as Britain's most successful boccia player. The 32-year-old now has five Paralympic medals and carried the flag for Great Britain at the closing ceremony.

Aled Sion Davies secured gold and retained his Paralympic Games title in the F63 shot put.
Aled Sion Davies secured gold and retained his Paralympic Games title in the F63 shot put

Aled Sion Davies took home a gold from his third consecutive Games as the Bridgend athlete won the men's F63 shot put. Laura Sugar competed in Para-athletics back at Rio 2016 but switched to Para-canoe for Tokyo and set a new Paralympic best time on her way to gold in the women's kayak single 200m (KL3).

Table tennis player Paul Karabardak waited four Paralympic Games for a medal - then two came along at once. He won bronze in the class 6 singles event before taking silver alongside Will Bayley in the classes 6-7 team event. Aberdare's Tom Matthews also grabbed a medal in the table tennis, bringing home a bronze in the class 1 singles.

Swansea's Paul Karabardak (r) won two Paralympic table tennis medals in Tokyo, including a silver alongside Will Bayley in the men's classes 6-7 team event.
Swansea's Paul Karabardak (r) won two Paralympic table tennis medals in Tokyo, including a silver alongside Will Bayley in the men's classes 6-7 team event

Beth Munro only took up Para-taekwondo in late 2019 after being spotted by Disability Sport Wales at a talent identification day on Anglesey. She qualified for Tokyo 2020 at her first competitive fight and reached the final before losing out to four-time world champion Lisa Gjessing and settling for silver.

There was also silver for James Ball in the velodrome as the world champion cyclist finished second in the men's B 1,000m time trial alongside pilot Lewis Stewart.

Hollie Arnold (l) and Olivia Breen (r) both won bronze medals in the para-athletics in Tokyo.
Hollie Arnold (l) and Olivia Breen (r) both won bronze medals in the Para-athletics in Tokyo

In the Para-athletics, Welsh trio Hollie Arnold (F46 javelin), Olivia Breen (T38 long jump) and Harri Jenkins (T33 100m) all came away with bronze medals.

While in the equestrian, Georgia Wilson was only called up to the Paralympics two weeks before the Games, as an injury to teammate Sophie Christiansen's horse meant she could not compete.

Georgia Wilson (r) was a late addition to the team but left Tokyo with two bronze medals
Georgia Wilson (r) was a late addition to the team but left Tokyo with two bronze medals

The 25-year-old Welsh rider certainly made the most of her opportunity with two bronze medals in the individual test (grade II) and individual freestyle test (grade II).

So the delayed Olympic and Paralympic Games were worth the wait for these Welsh athletes.

Paris 2024 is already less than three years away.

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