PARK PLAZA PLAUDITS FOR COMMONWEALTH CONTINGENT
13 Jul 2006
On the 15th of March 2006, the eyes of the world fell upon the crater-shaped cauldron of the Melbourne Cricket Ground to witness the firework frenzy that marked the spectacular opening ceremony of the XVIII Commonwealth Games.
And the medals were soon to follow as the Team Wales contingent began its assault on eleven days of grueling competition.
The final tally: 19 medals – three gold, five silver and eleven bronze and the 142-strong contingent, together with sponsors, dignitaries and team officials alike are set to celebrate their successes in style as Park Plaza Cardiff prepares to welcome them home at the prestigious Team Wales Reception (14th July 2006).
The impressive hotel - set in the heart of the capital - has come on board to host the high-profile reception which has been organised by the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales in partnership with the Sports Council for Wales to thank those that had contributed to the task of organising the Celtic outfit on their triumphant Australian escapade.
And Commonwealth gold and bronze medal winning swimmer David Davies, 21 from Barry was on hand to sample the venue’s fitness facilities ahead of the festivities.
Bolstered by an accumulation of medal winners from Melbourne, past Commonwealth Games and the inclusion of numerous Games debutants, the party is set to experience an evening of celebration in the sumptuous surroundings of the Park Plaza’s Laguna Bar & Restaurant.
And the luxurious venue’s manager, Hugh Hilary is delighted to welcome the team:
"Park Plaza is a proudly Welsh hotel which has quickly established itself as a base for travelling sports fans. We are thrilled to be associated with the cream of Welsh sportspeople and offer out heartfelt congratulations on Team Wales’ performance in Melbourne."
First Minister Rhodri Morgan will also be on hand to pay tribute to Wales’ athletes as he honours their performances on the world stage by presenting a keepsake medal of their competitive exploits thanks to the partnership struck with the Royal Mint.
The medals have been specifically designed by specialist engravers to reflect the Wales-Australia Games link, with a map of Wales inlaid over a picture of Australia.
"The Team Reception is an ideal opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to the sportsmen and women who captured our imaginations during the Games," the First Minister said.
"It also gives us the chance to pay tribute to the backroom staff, including our excellent coaches' help to make Wales’ elite athletes successful on the world stage. I'm pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government through the Sports Council for Wales and Health Challenge Wales assisted the team's preparations for Melbourne and enabled them to be there at the Commonwealth Games and to do Wales proud."
Team Wales Chef de Mission, Anne Ellis said:
"I’m delighted with the performances of all the athletes – everybody can be proud of what they have accomplished. To achieve 19 medals in a competition where standards have improved dramatically is quite remarkable for a country of our size.
"This reception allows us to extend our gratitude to our various sponsors for their support and contribution to the Team Wales setup. Their backing has been invaluable and we hope to build upon these relationships as we look towards Delhi in 2010. "
TEAM WALES PERFORMANCES
Michaela Breeze - Weightlifting
David Phelps – Shooting - 50m Rifle Prone (individual)
David Davies – Swimming - 1500m Freestyle
Julie Crane – Athletics - High Jump
Kevin Evans – Boxing - Super Heavyweight (91kg)
David Eaton – Gymnastics
Betty Morgan OBE – Singles Lawn Bowls
Robert Weale – Singles Lawn Bowls
Geraint Thomas – Cycling - 40km Points Race
David Davies – Swimming - 400m Freestyle
David Phelps and Griff Morgan – Shooting - 50m rifle prone pairs
Beverly Jones - EAD Athletics - 100m Sprint
David Roberts – EAD Swimming - 100m freestyle
Darren Edwards – Boxing - Featherweight (57kg)
Mohammed Nasir – Boxing – Bantamweight (54kg)
Jamie Crees – Boxing – Light Welterweight (64kg)
Nicole Cooke – Cycling – Road Race
Johanne Brekke – Shooting – 50m Rifle Prone
Hayley Tullett – Athletics – 1500m
Rugby 7s team beat South Africa in the Plate final
There were seven 4th Places
- Ladies Artistic Gymnastics Team Event
- Tanni Grey Thompson – EAD 800m
- Rhys Williams – 400m Hurdles
- Adam Robertson – Table Tennis Singles
- Jessica Gazzi – Gymnastics Individual vault
- Table Tennis Men’s Team Event
- Sian Corish – Shooting – 50m Rifle 3 Position