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Wales pondering 2026 Games bid

Sport Wales is weighing up a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and plans to use Glasgow as a key reference point.

Chief executive Sarah Powell revealed there is an appetite within the organisation to stage the competition and plans to pick up as many lessons from her Scottish counterparts as possible.

With the next edition of the Games due to be held on Australia's Gold Coast, while Canada and South Africa vie for the 2022 honours, the next available slot is in 12 years and that timing could fit the bill for Wales.

"We do have the aspiration to host the Commonwealth Games," Powell said. "We're a great sporting nation, so why not?"

"We'd be talking 2026 and beyond and that's ideal because we would need that 10-12-year build-up.

"I think Glasgow is a really good example to us: Scotland is a small nation but they've put everything behind it. The venues are a good size, there will be no white elephants afterwards and it will provide them an opportunity to show themselves on the world stage.

"This represents a real opportunity for us in Wales to look and learn from these Games and consider if we can do one.

"In Wales it would have to be about business regeneration, developing better transport links, not just looking from a sporting point of view but for creating opportunities in Wales as a whole.

"Financial constraints would make it difficult because we would want to do a great Games but we can learn a lot from Scotland in the next couple of weeks."

One way for Wales to generate the kind of backing they need from government funding and commercial interest would be to enjoy a successful time in Glasgow.

Sport Wales set a target of 27 medals - nine more than they managed in Delhi four years ago - and have since seen their prospects hit by the injury-forced withdrawals of world champions Becky James (cycling), Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins (triathlon).

Powell added: "Wales being successful in these Games and showing that it is a big hitter in sport would really start people thinking 'why aren't we hosting these kind of events?'

"That is the added bonus of hitting that 27-medal mark, though anything above the 19 we got last time represents great success.

"The target is an ambitious one but it is within our sights. It will take some great performances but that's what elite competition is all about.

"We had 15 fourth places in Delhi, so if we can convert some of those we can get where we want to be."

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