Welsh Athletics is deeply saddened to learn of the death of two-time Olympian Philippa Roles.
The 39-year-old discus thrower from Neath, represented Great Britain at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Competing for the Swansea Harriers, her personal best throw of 62.89 metres, achieved in June 2003, has her placed fourth in the British all-time rankings.
Wales’ 2008 discus Champion also placed fourth at two Commonwealth Games, in Manchester and Delhi, and sixth in Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne. As a junior, she finished third at the 1997 European Junior Championships and fourth at the 1999 European U23 Championships.
Several Welsh athletes and team mates have taken to Twitter to pay their tributes.
“Devastating to hear this news! Philippa was the funniest team mate to ever have, such a loss! thoughts are with her family & friends RIP x” – Matt Elias
“Absolutely devastating news - a massive Welsh inspiration. Thoughts go out to her friends and family rip” - Aled Davies
And Shaun Pickering tweeted “So sad to hear of the death of Discus thrower Philippa Roles at age 39. So proud to have been her teammate in KL1998 CWG. @WelshAthletics”
Head of Coaching and Performace, Scott Simpson said,
"We are all shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news. We are currently awaiting more information surrounding what has happened. Philippa was one of Wales’ finest ever throwers, excelling across all disciplines, but particularly in the discus, where she represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games and Wales at four Commonwealth Games. Her bubbly personality always brought a smile to those around her and she will be remembered as the life and soul of the Welsh teams that she was a part of. Not only the best teammate that one could have wished for, she was an inspiration to many and a great role model for future generations of athlete across all disciplines. She will be sorely missed by all that knew her and we would like to send our deepest condolences to her family and friends during this most difficult of times.”
Jason Gardener, Chair of UKA expressed his sadness saying,
"Phillippa was a member of many GB&NI teams that I was on and I am shocked to have learnt of her passing away and at such a young age. My thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to her family and the Welsh Athletics community."