Reflections on the Commonwealths

Posted by Rob Short at 12:08 on 4 August 2014

Glasgow 2014

“Badminton is a huge sport in the Commonwealth which makes a top 8 qualification a tough ask, never mind a medal, but we achieved that with a team of 6 (4 men and 2 ladies). The biggest worry for Matt Hughes and me prior to the games was that the demands on the two ladies in playing in both the team and individual events would be too great, with the nightmare scenario that we might have to concede a team match and perhaps have to withdraw from the individuals. Most other teams solve this issue by having players who go to support the team event, but who have not qualified for the individuals. Unfortunately we were not able to do that, but gladly survived the team events and played all the way through the individual events culminating in a top 8 placing for one of the men’s doubles pairings and a top 16 placing for the two ladies. For the ladies, a top 8 placing was within reach having already beaten their Canadian opponents in the team event but ultimately niggling injury and tiredness took their toll and the girls fell short after giving all.

Watching the team together, and in play, I was struck by their togetherness and the effort they all put in on court, all of them playing to their maximums, always receiving valuable advice from coach Matt Hughes . They didn’t bring home medals, but no Welsh athlete in any sport will have tried harder

In that respect, they delivered what was asked of them and they deserve high praise.

When attending a major event you are always hoping that you can experience highlights given that some lows always seem to come along. In this campaign the girls' wins against Canada and Australia were hard gained and joyous, and the performance of Gwilt and Font against the top seeds and English world ranked pairing of Adcock and Ellis will live long in the memory. It was without doubt unexpected but great to see and, in truth, they were always going to get a bit nervy when the finishing post loomed large. However the truth is that they denied the top pairing a chance to play well due to their own great performance. The top seeds never quite recovered from the match and ended up without a medal.

So, they will come home today and then for the next few days will need to recover from the emotional roller coaster which always follows big events. When they have recovered I hope they will see that the future for them can be as bright as they want it to be, they gained many complements from commentators and pundits alike at the games and deservedly so.

It goes without saying that all of us in the Badminton Wales team are very proud of them.“

Eddie O Neill


Carissa Turner

Sarah Thomas

Daniel Font

Joe  Morgan

Nic Strange

Oliver Gwilt

Coach     Matt Hughes

Manager Jacky Leonard