'Bundy-Davies can inspire Wales like Bale'

Seren Bundy-Davies

Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis thinks Seren Bundy-Davies can inspire Wales, just as Gareth Bale did during football’s European Championship.

But Lewis, who won heptathlon gold in Sydney in 2000, feels it is too early to tip the 21-year-old for a medal.

Just weeks after Wales’ football team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Bundy-Davies will compete in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the Rio Olympics.

“You look for inspiration and Seren is that person at the moment,” said Lewis.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Sport, she added: “Look at someone like Gareth Bale and how much someone like him has inspired people to get into football, and the whole team with their success in France.”

Wales lost to eventual champions Portugal in their first major finals appearance in 58 years.

The efforts of Chris Coleman’s side enthralled the nation and Lewis expects Manchester-born Bundy-Davies to have a similar impact.

“Like every region, you look to that next person coming through that will give that inspiration to young athletes. To show that it is possible,” she said.

“Seren has had a fantastic season so far.”

Denise Lewis

Bundy-Davies expressed disappointment at being the only Welsh representative in Team GB’s 80-strong athletics team for Rio 2016.

Former GB hurdler, and compatriot, Colin Jackson has already tipped her as a medal contender, but Lewis feels it may be too soon.

“I think it is important to realise it is her first Olympics, it is a really big deal and there is a lot to get used to, being in that cauldron of activity,” she said.

“There is a lot of pressure on these athletes.

“I think the future is looking good for her, she is strong, she is quick and now it is a case of the learning process. Can she adapt quickly and not panic in those pressure situations?

“Can she win a medal? It is a little early. She is still very young and learning how to cope in this environment.

“There is something very, very special about the Olympics. But she will be all the better from the experience.”

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