until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018

Welsh men target long-time rivals New Zealand

28 Mar 2018

The Welsh men's gymnastics team will draw on the youth of a newcomer and the experience of a three-time Games veteran to realise hopes of improving on fifth-place finishes at the past two Commonwealth Games and turn the tables on rivals New Zealand.

The Wales team includes the youngest male gymnast at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, 17-year-old Joshua Cook.

"Two or three years ago I never thought I would make the team," Cook said.

"It's always been my aim to come to the Commonwealth Games, but coming this young is definitely an achievement. It's very exciting and I want to enjoy every second."

Competing alongside him is the oldest member of the team, Clinton Purnell who, at 28, feels very much the senior citizen. This is his third successive Commonwealth Games.

"In Delhi (2010), it was all quite new to me. I got fifth place on vault, which was a really good personal achievement," he said.

Glasgow 2014 was a hit-and-miss affair for Purnell due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade.

"I was quite last minute with my training before Glasgow, trying to recover quickly, and just made it in time," he said.

"This time I have been preparing with the team for the past year, so I should be a bit more ready than in Glasgow."

The goal of the Welsh team for GC2018 is to maintain the fifth place achieved in Delhi and Glasgow - and to beat New Zealand.

"With the way our preparation has gone, we could possibly improve on that," said Purnell. "We're all quite hopeful. The team is young and strong. Everybody is really hitting top form."

Both Cook and Purnell concede the team gold medal will most likely go to England but the competition for the other medals will be intense.

"We've always aimed at beating New Zealand," Purnell said. "They beat us in Delhi, but we beat them in Glasgow. So this time we're hoping to score above New Zealand again."

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This article was produced by Games News Service.