Watch: Olivia Breen fights back tears during the Welsh national anthem
If there were gold medals handed out for smiles, then Wales’ Olivia Breen would have a record haul.
As it was the Paralympic sprinter lit up the Commonwealth Games pulling off one of the shocks of the games by beating the red hot favourite, Olympic and World champion Sophie Hahn in the Women’s T37/38 100m Final.
It was an exhilarating run that propelled the Welsh sprinter, who has cerebral palsy, across the finish line in first place ahead of a shellshocked Hahn, who couldn’t quite believe what had happened.
Breen’s sheer innocent joy at winning in a personal best of 12.83s was a beautiful moment, as was her infectious enthusiasm that captivated the audience both in the stadium and the millions watching at home.
It was also the first medal by a Welsh woman in track athletics at the Commonwealth Games since Kay Morley won the 100m hurdles in 1990 in Auckland.
“I am absolutely over the moon. Ten years’ hard work and I’ve never run this fast. I am really happy,” said Breen, who is also the defending Commonwealth Games Paralympic long jump champion.
“I just can’t believe it and I want to thank my team for believing in me.
“Obviously this year I’ve had a really good season and Sophie has been a really good rival for years and I knew that it would come, and it did come!”
The 26-year-old’s evening was brought into emotional focus as she received her gold medal stood atop the winners’ podium while the Welsh national anthem played.
It was a lovely, touching moment as she fought back tears with that trademark smile etched across her face.
It was Wales’ third gold medal of the Commonwealth Games and the first gold in the track and field events.
It was also one of those unforgettable nights in the history of Welsh sport – a moment that will be remembered for many years to come.
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