Gordon Llewellyn becomes oldest Commonwealth medallist in Welsh history

·2 min read
Gordon Llewellyn becomes oldest Commonwealth medallist in Welsh history

Gordon Llewellyn became the oldest Welsh Commonwealth Games medallist of all-time - and insisted he's no intention of slowing down.

Ystradgynlais’s Llewellyn, 75, joined forces with Port Talbot’s Julie Thomas to win lawn bowls silver in the visually impaired mixed pairs, supported by guides Mark Adams and John Wilson.

Five ends into their final with Scotland, the Welsh pair held a slender advantage, but their home nations rivals finished strongly to secure a 16-9 victory.

"We've achieved not the pinnacle but very, very close to it," said Llewellyn.

"I think we're played really well and we're very proud of what we've got - a gold is nice, but a silver is pretty good too.

"We've kept Wales up in the top echelon of bowls and brought a little bit of profile of visually-impaired bowls too.

"I don't really think of my age, the other alternative is to just sit down and I'm certainly not going to do that.

“Another four years and I could break the record again but by then they'll be more grandchildren and babysitting are pretty tough."

This summer, Team Wales, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 200 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Four years ago on the Gold Coast Thomas, 55, was left disappointed with a bronze medal but this time she insists there were no regrets at Leamington Spa, as Scottish rivals Melanie Inness and Robert Barr proved just too strong.

"This is very different to 2018," she said.

"We were upset with our bronze in the Gold Coast as we missed out on the gold medal match with the last bowl of the last end in the semi-final.

"I found the semi-final much harder than the final because of that. We just wanted to enjoy it and we had amazing support. We're just delighted to have a silver to show for all our hard work."

There were plenty of Welsh flags in the crowd at Leamington Spa, but Wilson said the memories of two squad members fuelled the team's podium ambitions.

Llanelli's Dylan Williams was initially selected for the Welsh team but passed away on the eve of the Games following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease, his name proudly emblazoned on one of the Y Ddraig Goch flags in the crowd.

And Swansea's Gilbert Miles, who partnered Thomas in 2018 and was the oldest Welsh athlete on the Gold Coast, died last year.

"They've been friends of the sport for 25 years and we're thinking of them now, we know they'd have loved to have seen this," said Wilson.

"They both made such an impression on the sport, and we gained a lot of supporters because of them."

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