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Following numerous medal winners and high quality performances from Welsh athletes in Delhi, the future for Wales is bright.Â However, if we are to be recognised as a nation that can deliver systematic success, there needs to be a step change in the way we develop elite sport, according to Sport Wales.
Team Wales has picked up 19 medals and sit a healthy 15th on the official medals table. While the medals per head of population table places Wales ahead of all the other home nations, and only just behind Australia and New Zealand.
With an unashamedly ambitious target of up to 35 medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - which would surpass the 31 medals won in the previous â€˜home' Commonwealth Games in Manchester - and an aim to finish in the number one spot in the medals per head of population, Wales will need to almost double the number of Delhi podium finishes.
And there have been encouraging foundations set by Team Wales, including some promising performances from younger athletes. Big medal winning performances across a number of sports have raised the profile of many of our athletes - such as 400m hurdler Dai Greene, lawn bowls' Robert Weale, boxer Sean McGoldrick, swimmer Jazz Carlin and cyclist Becky James - to even higher levels on the world stage.
And with their success proving Welsh athletes can sit at the top table of sport, the challenge has been laid down for Wales to go from good to great.
"We have seen some outstanding performances from our athletes out in Delhi, particularly when you consider the age of some of our competitors and medalists. Across a number of sports we've seen the level of ability, dedication, coaching and support that we need to build on if we are to achieve continued success. We want to retain the medals we have won here and turn those fourth and fifth place finishes in these Games into medals by the next ones." says Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales.
"Consistent success on the world stage should be the aim for all Welsh sportspeople and our governing bodies. We want to be ambitious for our athletes and sports, working with them to continually challenge and improve performance.
"We set a target of at least 18 medals at these Games. While achieving this is clearly a cause for celebration, we have set our sights higher as the Games make their way to Glasgow in four years time. We want to be recognised, worldwide, as a nation of passionate, focused and talented sportspeople, in the way our counterparts in New Zealand and Australia are."
"Whilst in Delhi we are currently behind Australia and New Zealand in the medal per head of population table, we believe that within four years we can overhaul these two great sporting nations to become the number one nation per head of population in Glasgow."
An Elite Sport Strategy for Wales was launched earlier this year detailing how the main organisations and bodies involved in Welsh sport plan to achieve success through focusing resources, investment, supporting world-class athletes and working in partnership to develop talent. Ambitious future medal targets were set by Sport Wales - and the national governing bodies themselves - for future multi-sport events.
McAllister concluded, "With Glasgow 2014 a big targets for us, we cannot allow ourselves and our sports to stand still. The only way forward for Wales is to be ambitious, keep challenging ourselves and to build on successes we've had in Delhi."
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