Thomas wins 2014 BBC Wales award

Cyclist Geraint Thomas has been voted the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014 at an awards ceremony in Cardiff.

The Team Sky rider succeeds rugby union star Leigh Halfpenny, who

won in 2013.

Results of a public vote were revealed at the

Wales Sport Awards, 

in which BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales celebrated Welsh sporting success.

Jo Coombs took the Coach of the Year

award

after leading the Welsh rhythmic gymnastics squad to eight medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Thomas, 28, went straight from his highest-placed finish in the Tour de France to the Commonwealth Games, where he won a bronze in the Time Trial and then claimed gold in the Road Race in dramatic fashion – overcoming a late puncture and a wheel change to cross the finish line first.

Those performances helped Thomas, who won Olympic gold in 2012, secure the public vote just ahead of
second placed gymnast Frankie Jones

and
mountain biker Manon Carpenter in third.


Geraint Thomas and Sir Bradley Wiggins

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Sir Bradley Wiggins presents Geraint Thomas with the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014 award

Thomas, who is away at a training camp in Mallorca preparing for the start of the season in Australia in January, was presented with the trophy by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Thomas.

“You look at all the previous winners – Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes, Colin Jackson, Tanni Grey-Thompson – all household names.

“I just want to say a massive thanks to all who voted and all those who’ve supported me throughout the year.

“The Welsh flag is one of the ones you see the most now on the roadside during races, and it was just fantastic to cap that off in Glasgow in a Welsh jersey – which I don’t get to wear that often.”

Jones won one gold and five silvers to become the most successful individual Welsh athlete at the Commonwealth Games. Wales’ flag bearer at the opening ceremony, the 24-year-old then

scooped the David Dixon award for outstanding athlete of the Games

based on performance, fair play and overall team contribution.

Carpenter won the Mountain Biking Downhill World Cup series and the 21-year-old was

gold medallist at the Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships.

The other seven nominees chosen by an expert panel for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014 were footballer Gareth Bale, cyclists Elinor Barker and Rachel James, swimmers Jazz Carlin and Georgia Davies, golfer Jamie Donaldson and Judoka Natalie Powell.

The individual nominations were peppered with athletes who had performed outstandingly at Glasgow 2014, and that saw
Team Wales named Team of the Year

for their Commonwealth Games exploits that saw a record 36 medals won.

Snooker legend
Terry Griffiths was given the Lifetime Achievement award

. Griffiths won the World Championship in 1979 and had a glittering career as a player at the highest level, then became the leading coach in the game.

The
Community Lifetime Achievement honour was given to Swansea boxing stalwart Terry Grey.

He took over the running of the Gwent Amateur Boxing Club in 1971 and has built a thriving boxing and sport venue in one of Wales’ most deprived communities.

Taffs Well RFC’s Donna Marshall picked up the Volunteer of the Year

for work that includes giving young people with autism opportunities to play the game, while the
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Bridgend’s Rhys Young.

Rhyl FC Academy coach Niall McGuinness took the Young Coach of the Year

prize for boosting numbers and helping players make the step-up to professional clubs.

The
Carwyn James Sportsman of the Year prize was was given to David Omoregie.

The 19-year-old 110m hurdler won bronze at the World Junior Championships in July 2014 in a time of 13.35 seconds.

Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnast
Laura Halford won the Carwyn James Sportswoman of the Year.

After taking the Welsh and British senior titles earlier in the year the 18-year-old won three medals at Glasgow 2014.

Paul Jenkins was crowned top Coach to Disabled People

of the Year

after leading the British Invictus Games wheelchair rugby team to gold alongside his work with the South Wales Pirates club.

The BBC Cymru Wales Unsung Hero award went to Newtown’s Bill Marlow,

a former teacher who now dedicates his time to getting kids in Mid-Wales involved in orienteering. After

winning the BBC Cymru Wales award,

Bill will now go on to represent Wales in the UK final, which will be announced during BBC Sports Personality of the Year on BBC One Wales on Sunday, 14 December.

To complete the list of winners, triathlon coach
Royden Healey was named Community Coach of the Year,

having given hundreds of young people the opportunity to try the sport.

Chair of Sport Wales, Professor Laura McAllister, said: “Every year we strive to achieve more as a nation in sport, and winners at the Wales Sport Awards highlight that we have stepped up another level.

“At both the elite and grassroots level we are seeing unprecedented success in terms of medals and the numbers of people taking part in sport.

“Our next challenge is to support more and more individuals to have the same impact as our Awards winners. It’s the only way we’ll continue the positive momentum in Welsh sport.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: “What an extraordinary year it’s been for Welsh sport. The ceremony was the perfect opportunity to focus on the achievements of those inspirational teams and individuals who have made the last 12 months so special.

“From cycling and football to boxing and gymnastics, it’s a thrill to see this wealth of world-class sports men and women competing for Wales – as well as recognising those talents behind the scenes who make it all possible.”

The ceremony will be replayed in full on the Red Button at 22:00 GMT on Monday, 8 December. BBC iPlayer viewing will be available for seven days.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/wales/30331032

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