COMMONWEALTH SQUAD ANNOUNCED

After much anticipation, Team Wales have announced 10 of the 11 boxers going to July’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Light-flyweight Ashley Williams will captain the squad that includes Olympic welterweight silver medallist Fred Evans, two time European flyweight gold medallist Andrew Selby and defending Commonwealth Games bantamweight gold medallist Sean McGoldrick.

Fresh from a gold medal at the Gee Bee tournament in Finland, Team GB podium squad member Joe Cordina will represent Wales in the lightweight division. Welsh champions Zack Davies and Kody Davies have been selected in the light-welterweight and heavyweight  divisions, respectively.

Women will be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in the event’s 84 year history. Flyweight Ashley Brace, light-welterweight Charlene Jones and middleweight Lauren Price will all be the first Welsh female boxers to represent their country at a major tournament.

James Thomas, Performance Director for Welsh Boxing, said, “We’re lucky enough in Wales to have a fantastic squad of boxers and selecting a team of eleven has been challenging. Competition for places has been tough and it’s testament to the quality and ability of the ten in the team that they have been selected to represent Wales in Glasgow.

“With the combination of experience and enthusiasm in the squad I’m confident that Glasgow 2014 will be a great Games for us.”

Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales, the organisation responsible for selecting and sending a team to compete for Wales, said, “We’re delighted to have been able to select such a strong squad of boxers. To have athletes that are held in such high esteem and that have so much experience at major competitions gives a real boost to the team and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action.”

The notable absentees are Merthyr’s two time Welsh middleweight champion Jamie Evans who is unable to attend the games due to work commitments and Carmarthen’s world bronze medallist Kevin Evans. Despite winning  a record equalling tenth Welsh title in March, super-heavyweight Kevin Evans has been denied the chance to attend a record breaking fifth Commonwealth Games – a tournament in which he has medalled three times.

However, Kevin Evans’ nephew Calum Evans is in the running for the spare light-heavyweight spot, the last place on the squad. Calum Evans was due to enter the Welsh Championships in March but an eye injury while competing internationally forced him out of the ring. The Welsh Championships light-heavyweight title was then won by Splott’s Nathan Thorley who out-pointed Calum Evans’ stablemate Sharif Mohamed.

Team Wales are due to depart for Canada where they will compete in two fixtures. Calum Evans and Nathan Thorley are both on board the plane, suggesting that the light-heavyweight spot is still up for grabs.

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