Nerys Pearce & Sean Gaffney - Wales Commonwealth Games 2018 powerlifters

Wales Names Serving Troops & Veteran In Commonwealth Games Team

Nerys Pearce & Sean Gaffney - Wales Commonwealth Games 2018 powerlifters

Wales has named two forces personnel and a veteran in its squad for April's Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Petty Officer Sean Gaffney and Nerys Pearce (above) will represent Team Wales in powerlifting, alongside Nathan Stephens.

Gaffney, 46, is a serving sailor based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, who has a below-the-knee left-leg amputation from an injury in service in 1999.

After undergoing more than 20 operations he won an Invictus Games powerlifting gold, coming out on top in the heavyweight category in Florida in 2016.

Forces Network caught up with Gaffney that year before he headed off to Orlando, when he predicted the Games could act as a springboard for future success...

He also took home the gold in one-minute rowing in 2016, as well as winning another two medals.

Competing in the women's heavyweight (over 61.0kg) will be 36-year-old former corporal Pearce, a winner of 10 Invictus Games medals who is also Gaffney's coach.

She served as a medic in the Army before being left paralysed from the chest down following an accident in London in 2008.

Retired British Army Corporal Nerys Pearce - Warrior Games 2015
Pearce starred in the 2015 Warrior Games in Virginia

Simon Roach, sports manager of Weightlifting Wales said: "I am delighted that three para-athletes have been selected for Gold Coast.

"Their commitment and dedication throughout 2017 has been outstanding. This selection is recognition of their achievements throughout the year and reflects on the great work that is now in place within Weightlifting Wales creating an inclusive sport.

"I look forward to seeing them compete for Wales in April and wish them every success in their final preparation."

Also looking to make the powerlifting podium at the Games will be Scotland's British Army veteran Micky Yule, who just missed out four years ago after finishing fourth in Glasgow in 2014.

Previously a competitor for the Army weightlifting team, he was injured by an improvised explosive device while serving with the Royal Engineers in 2010.

After a year out to recover from his injuries, he returned to training, becoming the first Scot to compete at a Commonwealth Games in powerlifting.

Yule, who won Invictus Games titles in 2014 and 2016 and will line-up in the heavyweight division (over 72kg), said:

"I am proud to be selected for my second Commonwealth Games. I finished fourth in Glasgow last time out and felt how close it was to miss out on those medals. I go to the Gold Coast with one mission and that’s to come home with a medal. Nothing else will do!"

Powerlifting is a para-sport, where competitors bench press a barbell on a specially-adapted bench.

Mike Bamsey, a soldier in the Royal Engineers, has been named in Wales' shooting team, meanwhile.

The 24-year-old, who began shooting at just 11 through the Scout Association, burst onto the scene in 2013 after becoming the first British rifle shooter to qualify for a final at the World University Games.

He also boasts three silver medals from the Youth Olympic Festival in 2013.

Bamsey will be joined at the Commonwealth Games by Army shooter Sam Gowin, who's been selected to compete for England in the rapid-fire pistol event.

It comes after fellow soldier Corporal Alanna Nihell spoke of her pride last week after being named captain of Northern Ireland's ladies' boxing team.

This year's Games will take place from April 4-15 in Australia.

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