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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Walker to lead BBC Wales Sport
Nigel Walker
Nigel Walker brings a wealth of experience to the job
Former Wales wing and Olympian Nigel Walker has been appointed as the new Head of Sport, BBC Wales.

Walker replaces another former Welsh international, Arthur Emyr, in the post and will take up the reins at the beginning of September.

"I'm thrilled to be joining BBC Wales and look forward to working with the talented and committed sports team," Walker said.

"The next few years are going to be very exciting considering all the rights that BBC Wales currently holds for live sport, and I am relishing the challenge."

Currently working for the Welsh Rugby Union as the Wales team development manager, Walker has a wealth of sporting and broadcasting experience.

Nigel Walker tests the France defence
Strong finish: Nigel Walker had an excellent strike rate for Wales
Before joining Wales coach Graham Henry's management team, Walker had been involved with the former Welsh Office as a civil servant and the Sports Council for Wales as a sports development officer.

Walker is also much in demand as a commentator and summariser, and has enjoyed broadcasting stints with the BBC, ITV and British Eurosport.

Walker, 38, began his sporting career as a 110 metre hurdler - although he held Welsh 100m and 200m sprint titles - and represented Great Britain 32 times, with 18 appearances for Wales.

Record

He reached the semi-finals of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles but Walker had his finest season in 1987, where he took the bronze medal at both the World Indoor Championships and the European Indoor Championships.

Switching disciplines by retiring from athletics and joining Cardiff rugby club, Walker was soon back on the international scene and made his Wales debut on 6 March 1993.

Walker scored 12 tries from his 17 caps - including a Wales record of four in one match, against Portugal - and was part of the team who lifted the Five Nations Championship crown in 1994.

Walker's scoring record is held jointly with Willie Llewellyn, Reggie Gibbs, Maurice Richards, Ieuan Evans and Shane Williams, who grabbed four in the first Test against Japan on the recent tour.

Nineteen ninety-four was also a good year for Walker's club rugby as Cardiff took the domestic league title that season.

Other highlights with Cardiff include lifting the Swalec Cup and reaching the semi-final of the European Cup, both in 1997.

Walker was also invited to play for the Barbarians three times, facing New Zealand, Australia and also playing against Wales.


Nigel Keith Walker factfile:

Born: Cardiff, 15 June 1963
School: Rumney High School, Cardiff.
Higher education: MBA from the Open University in conjunction with the University of Glamorgan.

Sporting Achievements:

Athletics:

Major Championship Apps:
Olympic Games: 1984 (s-f).
World Championships: 1987 (s-f).
European Championships: 1986 (4th), 90 (s-f).
Commonwealth Games: 1986 (4th), 90 (5th).
World Indoor Championships: 1987 (3rd), 91(s-f).
European Indoor Championships: 1983 (ht), 85 (5th), 87 (3rd), 89 (s-f), 90 (s-f), 92 (s-f).
Best performances: 110mH - 13.49sec wa (13.51sec legal); 100m - 10.35sec wa (10.47sec legal); 200m - 21.35sec.
Thirty-two apps for GB, 18 apps for Wales; 2 senior British titles at 110mH, 6 senior Welsh titles (2x100m, 1x200m, 3x110H).

Rugby:

Wales:
Debut: 6 March 1993.
Last Test: 21 February 1998.
Caps: 17.
Test tries: 12.
Four tries v Portugal in 1994 to equal Welsh record in match; member of 1994 Five Nations Championship winning team.
Cardiff:
National League title 1994; Swalec Cup 1997; European Cup semi-final 1997.
Barbarians:
New Zealand 1993, Wales 1996, Australia 1996.

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