Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 17:17 UK

Welsh athletes Baulch and Thomas finally hold the gold

Jamie Baulch and Iwan Thomas with their medals
Jamie Baulch and Iwan Thomas were cheated of their gold medals in 1997

Welsh athletes Jamie Baulch and Iwan Thomas have formally received gold medals from the 1997 World Athletics Championships in Athens.

The Welsh duo collected their medals 13 years after a relay race in which a member of the American team cheated.

Antonio Pettigrew admitted in 2008 he was on drugs when he helped deny the British relay team of Baulch, Thomas, Roger Black and Mark Richardson gold.

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones presented the medals in Cardiff Bay.

Baulch, 37, and Thomas, 36, along with England's Black and Richardson, were the members of the British team edged out by the United States quartet by just 0.18 seconds.

It's nice to be recognised
Gold medallist Jamie Baulch

Baulch said it was "lovely" to finally get gold but the award "didn't really" make up for missing out at the time.

"At the end of the day it's been 13 years in the making," he said at the Senedd building.

"We are world champions; it's not like we are club champions, and people in Wales and from across Great Britain want to see us win our medals.

Iwan Thomas said he was really proud but wishes it could have happened at the time

"It's lovely that Welsh Athletics has put this on for us and I'm proud that this is happening, especially in this building.

"But it would have been great to have been in front of 80,000 people up on the rostrum, with the national anthem being played.

"Nothing can replace that. This is a second best unfortunately, but it's nice to be recognised and it's nice to be here today."

But both athletes said they were disappointed the medals were not replicas of the original medals struck in 1997, but standard design gold medals.



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