Aled Davies added Commonwealth Games gold to his three Paralympic titles with a dominant display in Birmingham.
Davies, 31, won shot put gold in Tokyo last year but competed in the discus event at Alexander Stadium, having switched back last September when he knew it was an opportunity to add the missing gold from his collection.
And his class was evident as his best effort of 51.39 put him over seven meters clear of his nearest rival, while Welsh team-mate Harrison Walsh took bronze.
“It’s a special one. It really is. I’m very proud to be Welsh, it’s very close to my heart,” said Davies, who won Commonwealth Games silver eight years ago in Glasgow.
“After Glasgow 2014 and the disappointment, I didn’t think I would get another opportunity to do this. After focusing solely on cool for the past seven years, we saw this opportunity on the horizon. We knew it was going to be a short turnaround. I’ve only been doing it since last September, it’s been amazing.
“I picked up a little niggle in my pelvis so it was hit and miss whether I was going to be 100 per cent. I’m in a lot of pain, we’ll find out how serious it is after my scans but at the end of the day nobody’s going to remember what I threw, they’re going to remember the color of the medal and it’s gold for Wales.”
Walsh was a promising rugby player, representing Wales at under-18 level and signing professional terms with the Ospreys, when an injury left him with permanent nerve damage in his foot.
And it is fitting that he has won his first major medal alongside Davies, who has been such a big part of his athletics journey.
“We’re training partners, we’re around each other all the time and he’s a huge inspiration to me,” said Walsh, who was set to make his Paralympics debut in Japan until suffering a freak ankle injury in training. .
“When I retired from rugby and couldn’t do it anymore because of paralysis, he was the first guy I knew in hurling. So I hit him up and started chatting and got into it. It’s so special to be there out with him and competing for the country I love and I’m so proud to represent, I’ve always wanted to represent Wales. It’s just the most special country and people in the world.”
Jeremiah Azu finished best of the British in the 100m blue ribbon final, clocking 10.19 seconds for fifth in a race won by Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala.
Azu upset English pair Reece Prescod, a European silver medallist, and Zharnel Hughes in June to win the 100 meters at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester.
But he smartened up after his time of 9.90 seconds was ruled wind-aided, meaning he had to settle for a place in Great Britain’s relay squad at the recent world championships.
This performance again underlined his status as the best British sprinter of the season, after England’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake pulled up with a hamstring.
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