17/08/2012 Sport Wales


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It took our breath away. And they inspired a nation. And Wales's


finest made history. And a superstar from North Wales is the


Olympic champion. It is a new world record and Great Britain have won


the gold medal. We have done it! We have done it! And we have done it


in style. Great Britain, the Olympic champions. The men come


right up on to the line. He is the most successful Welsh boxer of all


time. That is quite a moment for Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke.


Absolutely brilliant! Growth what a After a glorious Olympics which


kicked off here in Cardiff, we will be catching up with gold medal


winner Geraint Thomas and looking ahead to 2016 in Rio. Bus so much


more coming up. Welcome to the new season of Sport Wales. Coming up:


We have an exclusive interview with Cardiff City chairman.


Give us an option to show you that we will be here for a long time.


also hear from you Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup. It is very


difficult for me to be as good as a manager as I was as a player.


we catch up with former British rally champion David Llewellyn.


heart was absolutely pounding. football first and he is one of the


greatest players to have ever graced the game - but what will


Michael Laudrup be like as a manager? Sport Wales has been to


find out more about the new man at MUSIC PLAYS her.


It has been quite a sum at the Liberty stadium. Brendan Rogers


said goodbye to Swansea and hello to Liverpool. But who to replacing?


In walked one of the greatest footballers who ever lived. Michael


Laudrup said yes. We met in Birmingham. We had a talk, knowing


each other at, of course, and I had a lot of phone calls and references.


I did not know much about Swansea. I just knew it was a team from


Wales playing in the Premier League. So you had to do some research?


course because I think it is very important to do research. Sometimes


he does get a phone call and you meet and have 48 hours to decide.


This time I bid you wanted to do my homework very well. Everyone was


very positive about the club under way they played. I saw some games


last year in a different style that. It was a style that suited me a lot


so that was a positive thing. did a part of you worry whether it


was the right move for you or way you convinced? Especially because I


had a couple of experiences where I may be did it too quickly without


doing the research, it is sometimes that you are lucky and sometimes


you pay deeply for that mistake. I did not want to do that mistake.


You have made mistakes, you think, with the jobs you have taken in the


past? My philosophy is that you have to learn from the bad things


and remember the good ones. Of course I remember some are less


nice things and I have used this time to make everything very


positive. That is why I am here. Laudrup arrived at Swansea after


mixed coaching experience is in Russia, Spain and his native


Denmark, where he won the League Cup double. His decision to jump on


and off the managerial merry-go- round is a surprise to a former


team-mate. A I was a little bit surprised when he first went


coaching. I did not think he would do that. He has not managed before.


He has been head coach. So in Spain and Russia, he was very successful


and those clubs - you are not in charge of anything other than the


team. Sometimes you are not even in charge of that so basically do


other guy -- you what are the guys that coaches the team. Now he needs


to manage. He is the boss. Every time anything happens within the


club, everyone is going to look to Michael. This is why he has to step


I have no doubt that the manager role in Great Britain is different


to other places in the world. Of course, the managers in Madrid have


a lot of power and there are few other clubs like that but normally,


the manager or the trainer or coached - whatever you call them -


is in charge of the team this double. He can give his opinion on


buying and selling. I really like that it is different here. It gives


you more work but I am responsible at the end of the day. If things


are not working, it is the manager's head that roles. He has


already seem Joe Allen followed Rogers's to Liverpool. Others could


follow him out of the exit door. But good Laudrup's name attract


bigger and better stars? Players want to play for him and the reason


why they want to play for him is because of his philosophy and how


he trains every day, and his knowledge. It means he can attract


players to come to the club and I think if it goes well in the first


season, you will see more famous -- famous and better players wanting


to come and join Swansea. And what about a reunion with the man whose


goal helped win Euro 1992 for Denmark? We understand that Laudrup


is keen to bring his former number two on board at Swansea. I would


definitely consider coming because I would love to be in the Premier


League. We have been talking about it this summer and of course we


have to wait to see what is going to happen because he just came to a


new club and needs to find out how it is up a new club - fans, owners,


players and the staff. But if I got a chance to come back, I would


definitely consider it. Laudrup's main task is to keep Swansea up and


keep defying those who doubt them. But is he worried his reputation as


a player could be harmed if things go wrong? Some people might say


that Abbas not as good as a manager and as a player. But I don't think


whatever I do have the player will always be there. I am not offended


because people say I am not as good as a manager as I was as a player.


To be honest, it is very difficult for me to be as good a manager as I


was a player. Plenty more still to come on to Mike's Sport Wales.


We have an exclusive interview with Cardiff City's chairman. And we


assess the legacy of London 2012. For most of us, the sum of 2012


will be remembered for the efforts of Team GB at a London Olympics,


with Welsh competitors gathering a record haul of seven medals. Llinos


Lee caught up with gold medallist Geraint Thomas.


The first Welsh gold of London 2012 went to the cyclist Geraint Thomas.


It makes it a double Olympic champion -- makes him. He is back


in his home town of Cardiff after Look at the time! It is a new world


record and Great Britain have won the gold medal. Can use some up


London 2012 for us? I think it has just been loud. That is one of the


words. Just to be part of the hall of Team GB and such a successful


games, it is such an honour. I have not had time for it to sink in


because up to the race you are thinking about the race and the


training and have you are going to attack the race. You never really


think about afterwards and how you are going to feel and what is going


to happen. You dream of winning one day so to be sitting here now with


two blows my mind. All my closest people in my life were all there to


go through it with me and it was extra special. Afterwards, to see


them and to go out and celebrate together was really nice. How does


it feel to be part of the British cycling team, especially after what


happened in Beijing? The pressure was on to produce, wasn't it?


Cycling just blew up after Beijing and everyone expected us to bring


home 10 golds. We got seven so we got pretty close. It wasn't bad! I


just feel fortunate that I am at the right age to benefit from the


system that is their that Dave set up. When somebody starts doing


really well, you definitely get a buzz of that. It is not like it


happened overnight. It has been growing and growing since Sydney.


Each year, it has been getting better. We are fortunate to have a


lot of money put into cycling. They definitely utilised every penny and


spent it in the right way. That is the big difference, really.


head coach has said the what is next for you is to concentrate on


York Road. Is that what you are doing? The best, that is what I


have said all along. Definitely for the next two or three years I will


concentrate on the road and just see where I can take it. The big


one-day races in April and then the Tour the France, and then, Rio it


may be the cut the road race and the time trial. -- may be look at


other road race. A straight back on the road for you? Renault Restall


time for celebrations? We have had a few celebrations but I am


straight back into training. I am racing in Germany and then two days


later I have a race in Denmark. It is just manic but I prefer that. If


I didn't have any more races, I would just be at home wondering


what I was doing. I am so used to going on to the next goal all the


time. When a -- where will you be based? Idea finished a Manchester?


I have to sport a house in Cardiff. It is quite strange. I move to


Manchester when I was 18 so it is the start of a new chapter in my


life. So it is all eyes on Rio now or in


2016. But what is the legacy? What will the London Games impact on the


This may be the end of these two glorious weeks, but what we have


begun will not stop now. The spirit of the Olympics will inspire a


generation. London 2012 saw Britain record its


best males called for a century. World competitors completed more


than before. But can they inspire those hoping to fly the flag in


Rio? In my training session, I had been


watching its. I have wanted to watch and try harder.


I went to the games. The atmosphere was phenomenal. It


inspired me that I want to be there next time.


Inspire a generation was the mantra of the games. When a 17-year-old


Welsh javelin thrower was selected to be one of the seven aspiring


runs -- youngsters to lower the torch into the cauldron.


That was when I realise what I had just done, and it was phenomenal. I


could not believe it, the way they have tried to hand it on to the


next generation. It is awesome. The experience will stay with him


for the next four years. He was cherished being part of an opening


ceremony in front of 80,000 people. That will give him -- with him for


the next four years. I hope we will see him representing Great Britain


in Rio. Becky James was a reserve cyclist


at the games. She has ambitions for 2016.


It is frustrating, but with the form that Victoria and just Ennis


have had, it was always tough to get selected. -- Jessica Ennis. It


was unlikely that anything was going to happen, but I had to keep


my head on in case something happened.


In some cases, the youth came through at these games. The future


arrived in the present. Jade Jones won a gold, buoyed by the presence


of travelling to the Youth Olympics two years ago. She was funded them


by those who celebrating with had this week.


Fred Evans credited his time in Beijing as the main reason for his


silver. The Olympics are very special.


You have to live among thousands of people. He have to go to a strange


dining-rooms, shared bedrooms with people. If you can experience that


before your first Olympics, you have almost been there and done it.


At London 2012, five more Welsh athletes were put on the same


programme. My next target is 2013. I will be


looking for the gold. I'm just adding a few extra kilos.


Definitely Glasgow 2014 for a gold. The Commonwealth games in two years


will give us an accurate indicator of whether Welsh athletes can head


to Rio with realistic medal hopes. But future talent has been


motivated to emulate the heroes of 2012.


Laura McAllister, seven medals in London - have you set a target for


Rio yet? We have just seen some hopefuls.


When do you start to build towards that?


It is already under way. As well as Rio, we have got the Commonwealth


games in 2014, which is important for us. Wales competes as a nation


in its own right. A lot of our strategy is geared to was us. But


it is important. A lot of our successful athletes just missed out


in London. But I have great potential for Rio.


The challenge for you now, it is all very well people having an


interest in taekwondo, but how do you translate that into


participation? That is the main challenge facing


us. We did not just starts talking about legacy in the past few weeks.


Virtually everything we have done in the past few years has been


towards capturing the biggest ever marketing campaign for sport. We


can't do everything ourselves. We are not doing things on the ground.


We are encouraging, funding, supporting partners to achieve. But


I said from the beginning that it would be absolutely scandalous if


any child in Wales wanted to take part in sport after the games,


having been inspired by what they have seen, and that they were


turned away by club that did not have the capacity or enthusiasm to


take them on board. I stand by that. Motorsport now, and whatever the


level you compete at in rally driving, Wales has some of the best


terrain in the world. Last weekend there was a classic car event with


some classic drivers. Here on an industrial estate is the


service area for the need the early stages, when 90 cars all-race in


the forests. Joining Today's gang of amateur's eye couple of


characters who once completed at the very top of motorsport. -- are


a couple. David was one of Britain's most


talented drivers. Twice British champion, he was given a chance to


race in the world Championship. 20 years later, they could not race --


resist the opportunity to race again.


It is the adrenalin, the noise, the excitement. To put it in


perspective, when I went and a test last Thursday, I came back into


service and put my hand on my son's shoulder, and he said, Dad, and


shaking. I said yes, that his I went back 20 years when I started


this course. If I had this car that time, I would have done more


rallies. It is just exciting, nice to go and see what you can do. I


would like to think I have got the base to give him a push.


That depends who is the Rus deist. Joining David is fell short, the


It is 22 years since he raced in Wales.


These stages have a lot of memories for me. Some good times and some


bad times. They are just Kong -- Guiding them through the Forestry


wire their former co-drivers. -- were their former co-drivers.


The guy is obviously exceptionally talented. Being a four-time world


champion, he has got nothing to prove.


I only know that we are 56 seconds in front. D first-stage was 16


seconds faster than them. Bake -- it can be tricky because the


corners get affected, and Lady try to drive in a flamboyant Weightman


you can be caught out. -- and if you try. You have to be


And the last Welshman to win the rally GP came first by a margin of


almost one minutes. He was very quick this morning. He


was very quick on his pace this afternoon. If we started with more


gusto, we would have been OK. At the end of the day, it is not about


winning, we are here for fun. It was nice to be back.


At the start of the rally, my heart was pounding. It is just the


excitement of it all. Oh, boy, it gets you excited. It is like


nothing else. There's nothing like winning,


nothing like driving one of those quickly. But winning is good as


We had from the new Swansea bus earlier. So, to Cardiff City and


the Blue birds have been hitting the headlines on and off the field


this summer. -- the Bluebirds. Red or Dead. That was the size of


Change colours or face meltdown. A backlash from the fans, a U-turn


from the club, and then everything. Blue, after all, would become red.


-- then a rethink. Football has to be run as a


business. Because the Far East has a huge market, we feel that some


rebranding, some change, could be good to catch the eye of fans in


the Far East. One could say that companies go through rebranding so


they can freshen up. We have been careful, because the bat, for


instance - the Bluebird is still the motif. -- for the badge. The


Welsh dragon, which is the insignia for Wales, is prominent. Rebranding


is one thing. But we have also done a lot of planning for the stadium


go into -- the boys stayed in, in With football clubs nowadays, we


are conscious of sustainability. When you look at Portsmouth,


Rangers, we want to be realistic. Do you feel, in hindsight, that the


whole rebranding thing was handled badly?


In hindsight, yes, we should have done more. But we were pre-emptive.


That is difficult. Since then we have spent a lot of time trying to


explain, especially to those who were against the scheme, the


ramifications of such a transformation. It also comes with


following investment, putting this wonderful club on a platform, which


we hope, if we'd get to the Premiership, will make things


easier. What position is the club in terms


of debt? 70 million, some Bithell say?


That is certainly not true. We have clear a lot of the issues. Do you


know what the level of debt is? Can you tell us?


I think it is maybe �50 million. It is in that region.


This is the money man driving the change, the 10th richest man in


Malaysia, worth 1.2 billion. He holds the rights to chains like


Starbucks and McDonald's in his country. So why does he have


Swansea City? If it does not make money, he would


not be in this business! We have gone through much of the hard part.


It is something where we feel that in our lifetime, if we can make a


difference... So you are in it for the long-term?


My friend, if we were to walk out, we would have gone into the dark


ages. When we Kenny, the HMRC was on our backs. -- when we came in.


We have had too much for years of stability. -- to two years of


As he launches another campaign tonight, the manager says the club


may have been heading in the other direction without the Malaysians.


If he had withdrawn from the club, 15, 16 clubs would fold in the


Championship. What has changed over the summer? Have you seen any


tangible difference? Last year was a year of trying to


patch up and get a squad together, but really it was a small budget.


It was free transfers. This year I am able to go and try to compete


with clubs in the division. I'm able to go and compete in terms of


bringing in players. Mackay has been able to spend �5


million on new players, Craig Bellamy de Marquise signing. Can he


help to bring the club into the Premiership?


The best three teams will go up. It is proven to be the case every year.


I see no difference. Hopefully we will be one of the top three teams.


If not, it will not be down to our work ethic.


So, red shirt, blue shirts, Bluebirds, dragons, whatever the


symbolism, the players and manager just want to get on with it. It


will be how they do on the pitch which determines how things go in


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