Star duo absence to hurt Wales hopes of Commonwealth golds

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Wales have ended each of the last two Commonwealth Games with medal tallies of exactly 19, including two golds in 2010 and three previously in 2006.

Expectations are greater for Glasgow, with Team Wales targeting 27 medals and although this is not beyond the realms of possibility, the number of podium toppers are unlikely to steeply rise.

Ladbrokes have drawn the handicap line for Welsh golds at 4.5, offering 5/6 on both over and under this amount.

And it is the absence of two of their more likely medallists that indicate that the best bet is to side with four or fewer golds.

Becky James became the first British cyclist to win four medals at a single World Championships last year, which included a world sprint gold and another in the keirin.

However, a knee injury has ruled her out of Glasgow.

Elsewhere, Non Stanford became ITU World Triathlon champion in 2013, when winning the Grand Final in London.

But a stress fracture of her left ankle has already prevented her defending this title and she has still not sufficiently recovered to take part in Glasgow.

Wales do have another serious triathlon contender in Helen Jenkins though, who has finished on the podium in three of her four World Series events this year and was fifth in the last Olympics.

Swimmer Jazz Carlin is another with leading claims for a Welsh gold, especially in the 800m freestyle, an event in which she won the British title this year, setting a new personal best and the fastest time in the world this year in the process.

The fact Dai Greene hasn’t raced this season limits his appeal in the men’s 400m hurdles on the track, but he can’t be totally written off, Michaela Breeze is out of retirement in search of a third Commonwealth weightlifting golf and Robert Weale is a six-time bowls medallist.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.