20/07/2012 Sport Wales


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Good evening, welcome to London, home of the 2012 Olympic Games and


the greatest show on earth. The Olympic Games... It's finally


arrived. It's a fantastic opportunity. It's just massive


really, being in London, a home Games, it's the ultimate.


doesn't matter what your ranking is, it's about going to the Olympic


Games and prove you can beat anyone on their day. It's lonely a few


opportunities thaw get to say OK, amongst all those athletes in the


history of world sport, where I do stack up? You're very lucky, you


feel very special for yourself. It's something which is addictive.


That's why people are happy to wait four years for the next one.


any athlete to win Olympic gold in London will mean to say they will


almost certainly become mill airs and will be recognised throughout


the land. You're an Olympic champion for your life. You can be


a world champion, but no-one can take an Olympic title from you.


years of planning, meticulous preparation and years of sweat on


the track, our Commonwealth, European and world champion is


If his run on the day is good enough to win the gold, he will win


it. He is the guy who I think can cope with that label of being a


strong favourite. From aspiring young Swansea harrier to major


champion Gold Medal winner. 2010 was Greene's breakthrough year. He


beat Rhys Williams at the European championships. Wales have a


champion. 12 months ago in South Korea Greene became the world's


best. It is a Gold Medal for Great Britain. The Olympics means more


than any other championship and being a British favourite in London


multiplies the pressure. Olympics is the crowning glory for


track and field athletes. It comes round every fewer years and it's


the pinnacle of sporting achievement for us. I don't run up


the hills in the winter thinking, "I can't wait to get a bronze ."


the gold motivates me. It would be foolish to settle for anything less.


Greene isn't the first. The greatest 400 metre hurdler in


history experienced the pressure of being a home favourite in Los


Angeles in 1984. You have to be very disciplined. You need


tremendous amount of endurance and also you have to be able to stay


calm under pressure because it's a challenging event psychologically.


Of all the athletes in London who can handle that kind of, you know


you should be winning this, he is the guy who can cope with that


label of being a strong favourite. You say, what pressure are you


under, are you feeling the pressure? He'll go, what pressure?


I just go out and do what I've got to do. I love that about the guy.


He's honest. I know a lot of expectation come was it. I don't


feel under pressure. As long as I can train well every day, I will


perform really well. That's what people will remember in years to ko.


The man from Puerto Rico has beaten him, but they're getting closer and


closer. People will remember who lives in London. It will be an open


race. Being the world champion in 2011 really puts the target on your


back. I think it's going to be uphill fight to win the medal.


Through the year, when you're training hard, you think it's the


Olympics, biggest competition ever, I can't wait for it. When it gets


close, I'll think, it's 400 metres, ten hurdles, it's that basic.


assess the Welsh athletes' chances I'm joined by two Silver Medalists,


Sharron Davies and Iwan Thomas. Great to see you. All eyes on Dai


Greene. Yeah he's the man of the moment. He is the reigning,


European, Commonwealth and world champion. He's not had the best


run-in, in that he's not winning all the races. This time last year


he wasn't running this well. He's had a personal best. He can't


control the opposition. Javier Culson is unbeaten and running very


fast indeed. Dai has a good head for racing. You can't help but like


him. He's a very laid back character, a mark of a champion.


He's very calm and a good influence on everybody. He's unrecognisable,


when you think of the big names. He could probably wonder down the High


Street and most people wouldn't flinch. Is he can't he can beat


Culson? He is. Culson is running well. But Dai is running faster


than last year. But has Culson got the meantal strength of Dai Greene.


Must remain focus and positive. On your marks, that's massive pressure


at an Olympic final. And not losing energy with those nerves. If you


have that calm persona that's really important. Thank you very


much for now. The first event kicks off at Millennium Stadium two days


before the official opening ceremony when Team GB's women's


football event kicks off. Here at the Millennium Stadium


they're getting ready to start the whole Olympic party, just a little


ironic given that there won't be a single Welsh female player in sight


and those who run Welsh football would still rather have nothing to


do with the whole thing. Why not share in the Olympic spirit?


don't really see a Team GB. We see a Welsh team, an English, Scottish


and Northern Irish team. We want to continue to play under that flag.


On political grounds, we've been opposed to it. On sporting grounds,


we don't really actually view it in such the same esteem as we do


something like the World Cup or European Championships. New kit


contentious, new territory for Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and the other


Welshmen in the squad. There is a worry that FIFA might use a Team GB


against the Welsh retaining their own team. Some fear the worse.


may be 50 years before nb states it as a precedent. But if it's used as


a precedent it's a mistake. Football is a political game. There


are a lot of pressures on FIFA from all kinds of directions and at one


level, it is very difficult to justify why the UK has four


separate teams. Four nations into one, could it really happen? Sport


Wales understand it's takes only three member countries to put a


proposal forward to FIFA's Congress, then it's down to an open vote. The


trend in recent years has been towards more nations not less. 209


members now compared to 16720 years ago. When you -- 1 67, 20 years ago.


They're not looking to condense the old Yugoslavia into Six Nations any


more. They're happy for them to participate in stand alone nations.


There's no way that FIFA or UEFA will condense all the home nations


into one team. That just won't happen. That seems to be the main


sticking point in regard to the support of their players. I feel


Wales will always be a national team. I don't feel me being here


would jeopardise that otherwise I wouldn't be here. Wales is first


and mower most to mem. I don't see that being a threat. That's not me


being selfish, because I want to be here. It's one of the biggest


disappointments that I've not been a major competitions with Wales.


That will always remain. We weren't good enough in the teams I played


in. You know you can't moan. Obviously this is a chance for me


to experience tournament football, which I've never done before.


crowd of almost 40,000 expected for the women's opener on Wednesday,


but no Welsh players, after coach Hope Powell picked an all-English


squad but for two squads. There should be a full house in Cardiff


on August 1, when the men play. At the age of 38, maybe a new prize


for the man who's won almost everything else. We're here to win


it like every other athlete and team. We want to win. The players


in the squad are winners as well. Yeah hopefully we can win the Gold


Medal. So, a record 30 Welsh athletes will


compete for Team GB. Aly Rowell now on who to look out for and cheer


for over the next few weeks. They call her the head hunter, 19-


year-old tai-kwon-do star Jade Jones won gold at the Youth


Olympics. Now the British number one has the real thing in her


sights. If I got gold hopefully it would be on everyone's lips. It's


going to be amazing fighting in your own country. It's a once in a


lifetime chance. Sarah Thomas can boast about training with the


Duchess of Cambridge in the build up to London 2012, but for the


hockey star from Aberdare, it will be a case of results than royalty


when she competes at the Rinkbank arena. The feeling is completely


different than in Beijing. Our sights are set on the Gold Medal,


with that and home support and family and friends being there, it


will be mind blowing. Does kus star Brett Morse was the youngest


finalist at the World Championships last year. It's London where the


23-year-old is hoping to throw himself into the history books.


Will it finally be fourth time lucky for Christian Malcolm? The


200 metre specialist has flown the Olympic flag in Sydney, Athens and


Beijing, now in front of a home crowd the sprinter hopes to get his


hands on an Olympic medal. Watch out for 400 metre hurdler Rhys


Williams. He won gold to take the European crown last month and knows


how special it will be to perform in London. I've been in the British


team since 2005, but getting this Olympic team after missing four


years ago was a big relief. metre runner Gareth Warburton was


initially left out of the squad, but after a successful appeal,


wants to prove he's got what it takes to succeed. Helen Jenkins


knows her way around London. It was on the tryathlon track where she


won the World Championship in 2011. When approaching that early morning


5.30am swim, it's this London course she's been thinking of.


How fast can I swim? How fast can I bike? How fast can I run?


Potentially it could be a life changing day. It's meant more over


the last few years, as I've been stronger and more consistently


racing at the high level, having the chance of winning a medal, it's


become more real over the past few years. I think it's become more


important. I want to get to the 4th August and deliver my best


performance. Hopefully that's your Gold Medal, silver, bronze, if it's


not, I know I've given it To win gold Helen Jenkins will have


to swim 1500 metres, ride 43 kilometres and run 10k quicker than


her rivals. At Beijing she finished 21st. Now she's one of the


favourites. I'm a very different athlete this time round. I was so


happy to make the Olympics. From winning worlds earlier that year,


it changed my expectation. My expectation at the beginning of


2008, wow, just to get to an Olympics. This time round, heading


into 2012, it's not been about just making the Olympics. It's about


going to the Olympics and hopefully getting a medal. Her confidence


appears justified. She's the current world champion and is


either -- won or come second in five of her last seven races.


think it's always nice to go in as the underdog with less pressure and


expectation, but if you put in good performances you get that pressure,


you get that attention. You have to accept it and just take it. It's


there. It's a great opportunity as well. It's a home Olympics, to go


in as one of the favourites, it can be a bit scary, but also I've got


tone joy it. This opportunity's not going to come round geb. -- again.


54 other women stand between her and the gold. At 28 this could be


her best opportunity. But it's one stroke, pedal and one step at a


time. It's a life changing event. If you win an Olympic Gold Medal,


but I haven't thought too much about that yet. All I've thought


about is the swim, the bike and the run. It's very much the process of


that rather than, the process of the race. I think trying to focus


on just the race rather than all the other stuff. Otherwise it gets


a bit big really. It's too much to focus on. Just breaking it down to


swim, bike, run keeps it manageable. We'll discuss Helen's chances in a


moment. First, more names for you to look out for now as we hit the


water. Cardiff Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark will go for gold.


After becoming the first British women's team to become world


champions, it's no wonder they go into the Games as favourites.


Weymouth is a variable place. We can get any wind conditions. We


want to go knowing that as a team we're totally solid. We know each


other inside out and what makes each other and especially in that


environment. Rogue has traditionally brought huge joy for


Britain at the Olympics. Reigning champion Tom James hopes to repeat


his Gold Medal success from Beijing in the Coxless fours. There will be


a lot of pressure on our four coming into the Games. It will be


watched by quite a lot of people I imagine and big expectation of


winning a Gold Medal. So that's something fun to be part of. It's a


challenge. It's something I think we can certainly do. Don't bet


against podium finishes for Chris Bartley and Victoria Thornley. They


compete in the lightweight four and women's eight.


In the pool, there are five Welsh hopefuls. It will be Jemma Lowe's


second Olympics, and after winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games in


the 100 metre butterfly her expectations are high heading into


London. It's good to have motivation of hoping to get a medal


to keep you going in training. But I'm focusing on doing the best time


and doing the best performance I can do at the Games. If it happens


then brilliant. Georgia Davies competes in the 100 metre


backstroke. Growing up and watching sport, making the Olympics has


always been my all-time goal or dream,if you like. To have achieved


that, I want to take it even further now and swim as hard as I


can and try to go for personal best times and get the best result


possible. Then there's the new kid on the block, 19-year-old Ieuan


Lloyd swimming both the 200 metre freestyle, individual and relay


events. David Davies is back on familiar territory, competing in


the 1500 metres. His third Olympics. It's a difficult one to do. The


third is challenging. I want to deliver the performance of my life


that I can do on that day and get through to the final. It will be


very difficult. Swimming's moved on massively. I'm up for the challenge.


Home Olympics is a fantastic thing to be going to. Ollie Locke makes


up the Welsh contingent swimming the 200 metre backstroke.


Marco Laughran makes the Welsh contingent swimming in the 200


metre. Let's touch on the swimmers,


Georgia Davies, Jemma Lowe what are their chances of success? Georgina


is an out-and-out sprinter. It's difficult to predict. It's a close


race actually. The American Missy Franklin is in a good place on that


race. With Gemma, she probably is Wales' best hope of a medal in the


pool. She's very experienced now. I think she'll do well. David Davies'


third Olympics. He's won a bronze and silver. He's had a difficult


couple of years. Yes, he's had viruses, a foot problem, all sorts


of things. He's battled through it. He left his coach and come back


again. He's tried really hard. He wanted one of every colour, which


would have been a fantastic ending to an amazing career. The triathlon


is very much all eyes on Helen Jenkins. She has a great chance of


the Gold Medal. She is a fantastic performer. If things hold together,


she has a fantastic shout to win the title. She loves this venue.


She know it's well. That's the great thing about. It she's done


the World Championships here. She's had a real practice. That's a home


advantage, to be familiar with our racing environments and having a


partisan crowd. What does it do to an athlete when UK Sport say we're


looking at Alastair BrownLee and Helen Jenkins to bring home a medal.


I think pressure like that can be a good thing. It can build you, it


can make you think you're ten foot tall. Or you can shrink and have


the nerves. I think she's very confident and rightly so, she'll go


out and hopefully swim in this water very fast indeed. There's


another defending champion I want to talk about, Tom James the rower.


This time last year didn't think he was going to make it. He had a


heart square as well. How does he get ready for the biggest stage of


all? He is the defending champion. He's done it before. He's been in


the boat and won gold before. He knows how much he has to push his


body to win. Hopefully his three team-mates can help him out. He's a


member of a team and in rowing they have very strong ethos in regards


to the team. They talk about things in terms of the performance of the


boat. I think that strength in numbers is really important. He


brings experience to the boat too which is valuable. We're seen


Christian Malcolm in an earlier film, it would be great to see him


do well. I would say, I'd love to see him get what he deserves an


individual medal. He made the last final in Beijing in the 200. To


make the British team and sprint nowadays, have you to run pretty


good. He's in good shape to be here. You look at Blake and Bolt and


they're Another Level. We know that. If Christian gets it right on the


day, he can make a final. What can that home advantage do? Can it


bring him to find the extra 20% and ged a medal. I would love to see


that. Two more big names now, two people who we followed since they


struck gold in Beijing in 2008. It's time to meet Geraint Thomas


COMMENTATOR: Nicole Cooke is the Olympic road race champion!


Welsh woman winning Britain's first gold in Beijing. 2008 was her year


with a World Championship Jersey added to her Olympic gold. Since


then things have been less rosy. A loss of form and a public spat with


a team-mate and a battle to make the team. Whfrpblgts it comes to


the race we're going to come up with the Ba'athist strategy as the


team. That happens in -- The best strategy in the team. We've gone on


to win and it's been wonderful knowing that I was a key part in


that victory. That is a part of road racing. How will the fiercely


independent Cooke cope with playing second fid toll another Brit?


representing my country is an honour and being on the start line


in London, wearing the British Jersey will be a highlight of my


career and I'll be there giving it my best that's for sure. Geraint


Thomas' focus has been varied since his success four years ago. This


year he's had a one-track mind, to repeat an astonishing night in the


Beijing velodrome. COMMENTATOR: I cannot believe what


I'm seeing! It's another world record, an astonishing world record.


I just feel completely different rider to be honest. I've done three


grand tours since then. I feel stronger in myself and a lot more


confident in my ability. I think the squad we have now as well is


stronger than in Beijing. He may be one of four in the pursuit team but


Thomas is ready to take a leading role. You look at your Colin


Jackson's and Fred Evans and your JPRs and you go on and on, I think


our boy surpasses all of them. After a world record breaking


performance at the World Championships the British quartet


start strong. Thfrpblgts whole year has been about London and winning


gold. I missed the tour this year and the classics, which are massive


races. I've committed everything for the team pursuit. If I go and I


know I've done all I can, and there's nothing else I can do, I


can be happy with. That but I want that Gold Medal.


From our cyclists to more Welsh Olympians and we start with big


hitters. A golden age for Welsh boxing could


bring gold medals if Andrew Selby and Fred Evans live up to


expectations. Selby heads to London as European champion and top fly


weight in the world. Evans also the best in Europe and number two at


welterweight. I can't wait. just coming for the gold only.


Obviously a medal would be great. But I want to get to a final and


win the gold. Spinning the ribbon for Wales and Britain Frankie Jones


will go it alone as the UK's only entry in individual ridge make


gymnastics. Less of a long shot for success is this woman Elena Allen,


born in Russia, based in Newport and training in mid-Wales. I have


been British number one since 2000. So I am the best this country has.


I would like to win the Olympics. Failing that I would love to get a


medal of any colour. I would be really happy if I gave the best


performance of my life on the day. The heavy weights, Gareth Evans, a


former painter and decorator who gave up his job and moved to Leeds


to per sue his Olympic dreams and Natasha Perdu who combined her job


as a rubbish collector with daily bouts of training. She's keeping


expectations in check. The only way I get a gold is if I pinch it off


the winner. It depends how big as angry they are. The opposition is


very tough. My objective is to get out there, enjoy the platform, try


and do GB justice and lift as well as I can.


Well what a fantastic view we have of London, the Olympic city. You


were part of the bid. How does it feel knowing that the limb bik


games are about to start? I can't believe they're here. We started


working on them seven years ago. It feels as if it's seven years have


shot by. I don't think the country realises how much it will grip


everybody and how proud we will be of the athletes and the country.


How excited are you not only about the London Eye here and what about


what we are about to see? It's going to be brilliant. This city is


beautiful. I think we'll put on the best Olympics. I wish I was younger


and still keeping. Whoa I went wobbly then. It's going to be


brilliant. Let's talk about Nicole Cooke and Geraint Thomas. Nicole is


being asked to possibly give up her Gold Medal that she won in Beijing,


because she's part of a team now. How tough is that when you're an


individual competitor? Unbelievably tough. I can't imagine how that


feels. We both come from sports where you stand out as an


individual and you race. If you were a rower or team cyclist that's


a different feel. You're asking somebody to put someone else's


winning ambitions in front of your own. I don't know how that would


feel. Another terrific competitor is Geraint Thomas, British cycling


on top of the world. He's just developed into a world leader and


world beater. He's a nice guy as well, off the bike, he's a


fantastic guy. I'd love to see him win gold. Quite a lot of pressure


on the first day too, on the cycling, road racing, the fact that


we're hoping they're Goce to set us up. Success is contagious. The


first day is important. Your grandfather was Welsh. Are you


cheering on the Welsh athletes? Absolutely. With a name like Davies,


of course I am. If not, that window opens! It's been a pleasure having


you on the programme. Thank you both very much indeed. Enjoy the


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