Following Wales’ best ever Commonwealth Games medal haul, cyclist Geraint Thomas was awarded BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year at the Wales Sport Awards, Cardiff.
Thomas, who was presented the award by fellow cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, 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, remarkably, overcame a late puncture and a wheel change to claim gold in the Road Race. It was a performance that secured him the public vote to win the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Thomas said on receiving the award: “I’m absolutely honoured and delighted to have been awarded BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year, especially amongst such talented nominees. To compete for your own country is an amazing privilege and I'm thankful to all of you for tirelessly supporting me and making my dreams come true.”
Thomas, who took Olympic Gold in 2012, beat off Frankie Jones (2nd place) and mountain bike World Champion Manon Carpenter (3rd place) to win the BBC Wales accolade. Manon collected her prize on the evening and was proud to be part of the prestigious event.
“I was honoured and nervous to be part of the Wales Sport Awards. To come away with third out of every Welsh sportsperson and their achievements this year is amazing. Thank you to everyone who voted, it was a lovely way to end the year!”
World Champions Rachel James and Elinor Barker were also made the shortlist for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
The Team of the Year went to Team Wales for their record breaking Commonwealth Games medal total of 36, which put them ahead of all the home nations – as well as Australia and New Zealand - on the medals per capita table. Wales’ cyclists brought home 5 of these medals; 1 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze.
Welsh Cycling Head Coach Darren Tudor was runner up in the Coach of the Year category, with gymnastic coach Jo Coombs taking the award. Rebecca Peart was also runner up in Young Coach of the Year, which was awarded to Nial McGuiness of Rhyl Football Club.
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, 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 10pm on Monday 8 December. BBC iPlayer viewing will be available for seven days. Full list of winners available Wales Sport Awards.