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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Thursday, 9 September 2010 18:38 UK

Michaela Breeze to captain Wales at Commonwealth Games

Michaela Breeze
Michaela Breeze has won two Commonwealth gold medals

Reigning Commonwealth champion Michaela Breeze has been awarded the Team Wales captaincy at the 2010 Commonwealths.

The 31-year-old weightlifter will lead the 175-strong Wales squad in Delhi in her final tournament before retirement.

"When I was first asked to be captain I was left totally speechless," said the double-Commonwealth champion.

"To lead your country at a major event like this is an amazing honour. It will be the ultimate way to finish my career as an international weightlifter."

The two-time Olympian, who hopes to retain her 63kg Commonwealth title, admits she is "choked up" but "so proud" at the thought of being captain.

Team Wales bosses had a number of experienced and world-class athletes to chose from to take over from Paralympic great Dame Tanni Grey Thompson who skippered Wales to 3 golds, 5 silver and 11 bronze medals at the 2006 Commonwealths.

Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke, Olympic team pursuit champion Geraint Thomas, European 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, European sprint silver medallist Christian Malcolm and Commonwealth champion swimmer David Davies will be among Wales' medal hopefuls in Delhi.

Breeze carried the Welsh flag at the closing ceremony in Melbourne after winning her second Commonwealth title.

And she was confirmed as captain by Welsh Sports Minister Alun Ffred Jones at the Team Wales send-off in Cardiff ahead of the Commonwealths which starts in the Indian capital on 3 October.

"The 2010 Commonwealth Games will be the very last time I ever put a weightlifting bar over my head," she said.

Not only is Michaela a great competitor, but she also has an incredible ability to motivate and bring people together

Team Wales Chef de Mission Chris Jenkins

"I have one more shot at a medal, and I aim to lead by example while also supporting every other athlete representing Wales in Delhi.

"But no-one will be more proud of me being captain of Team Wales than my dad, John, who was born and brought up in the Mid Wales village of Llanidloes. We are both fiercely proud of our Welsh heritage."

Breeze, who is a school PE teacher in Devon, also won a gold and two silvers at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester before a second Commonwealth crown in Melbourne.

"Not only is Michaela a great competitor, but she also has an incredible ability to motivate and bring people together," Team Wales Chef de Mission and Commonwealth Games Council for Wales director Chris Jenkins said.

"When she's not training or in competition she's busy talking to other athletes whatever their sport.

"We have every confidence she will make a first-class team captain."

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see also
Commonwealth Team Wales 2010
15 Oct 10 |  Wales
Breeze bid to defend Games crown
17 Aug 10 |  Weightlifting
Breeze left 'high and dry' by cut
09 Feb 09 |  Weightlifting
Breeze performance hit by injury
12 Aug 08 |  Weightlifting
Breeze misses out on Games gong
30 Nov 06 |  Wales
Wales reach Commonwealth target
27 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Breeze lands Welsh lifting gold
19 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Weightlifting basics
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting
Weightlifting rules
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting
Weightlifting technique
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting

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Sporting Life BREEZE HOPES TO BOW OUT IN STYLE - 13 hrs ago
Sportsister Delhi 2010: Weightlifter Michaela Breeze to captain Team Wales - 14 hrs ago