The 2018 Commonwealth Games kicked off this morning on the Gold Coast in Australia.Rhyl, Prestatyn and St Asaph residents will recognise a few familiar faces as the game progress this year with weightlifter Laura Hughes, Squash player Tesni Evans and cyclist Dylan Kerfoot-Robson all boasting links to the area.

Hughes, who trains in the NW1 Gym in Llandudno, only took up weightlifting two years ago but has enjoyed a rapid rise in the sport now in with a chance to take out a Commonwealth Games gold medal having already stamped her authority in the 75kg class.

Her confidence will also be soaring after triumphing at the Commonwealth Championships in September 2017 - in the same venue that will be used by Gold Coast 2018.

She said: “The Commonwealth Games is not just a dream come true. The satisfaction of achieving something you have worked so hard for is difficult to explain. It’s beyond amazing.

"I am excited, motivated and can’t wait to soak it all up.”

Kerfoot-Robson will become the first Welsh Mountain biker to compete at a Commonwealth Games since 2006 when he competes on the Gold Coast in a few days time. He will also be racing in the men's road race while at the games as well.

Its has always been a dream for Kerfoot-Robson to compete in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games having watched his father, a former Welsh title winner and later a World Masters Champion, race on his bike.

His confidence will also be at a high after winning his third consecutive Welsh Mountain Bike Cross Country championship last summer at the Royal Welsh Show Ground while also currently holding the Elite Welsh Road Champion title.

Evans, who went to school in Rhyl, currently sits in the top 20 in the PSA (Professional Squash Association) rankings and is looking forward to pushing for a medal in Australia.

In August 2017, she stormed to a bronze medal at Manchester’s World Doubles Championships with partner Peter Creed while a semi-final finish arrived a month later at the Women’s HKFC International in Hong Kong.

She continued her good form into the winter, beating the world number four to reach the quarter final stage at Manchester’s World Championships in December.

The 25-year-old has a string of Welsh National titles to her name and in 2014 she flew the Welsh flag at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Her Commonwealth Games debut saw her reach the last 16 in both the women’s singles and the mixed pairs with partner Peter Creed and the quarter finals of the women’s doubles with Deon Saffery.

Evans was born in Cardiff and went to school in Rhyl and now she splits her training between St Asaph Leisure, Rhyl Leisure Centre and the Sport Wales National Centre.

She will be one of the first Welsh athletes in action, kicking off her Commonwealth Games campaign tomorrow at 5.30am, Wales time.

Hughes will be in action in the Women's 75kg weightlifting class at 9.30am Sunday, April 8.

While Kerfoot-Robson will be in action for the for the first time on April 14 in the Men's Mountain Bike Cross Country event at 4.31am.