Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Fencing champion gets all A*s to study medicine

Fencer Rhiannon Craig got straight A*s to study medicine at the University of Nottingham (Family handout/PA)
Fencer Rhiannon Craig got straight A*s to study medicine at the University of Nottingham (Family handout/PA)

A champion fencer has received a full set of A*s in her A-levels and been given a place at university to study medicine.

Rhiannon Craig, 18, who represented Wales in the Commonwealth Games 2022, only returned home from the competition two days before finding out her outstanding results.

The teenager from Chepstow said she now has her sights on being selected for Team GB this autumn.

Ms Craig also plans to take up her spot at the University of Nottingham from September, where she hopes to join their athletes programme and take her first steps towards her current dream of becoming a brain surgeon.

She told PA news agency: “I just got back from the Commonwealth Games two days ago, so it’s been a very, very nice surprise.

Ms Craig (third from left) said: "There's no draws in fencing. You win or you lose." (Family handout)
Rhiannon Craig (third from left) is going to study at the University of Nottingham (Family handout/PA)

“I’m really looking forward to going to Nottingham now. They have an excellent fencing team and that played a big part in why I chose to go there.”

Ms Craig said she fell in love with fencing after being introduced to it at a minority sports stall in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics aged six years old.

“I was at an equestrian event with my mum who likes horses when we came across the stall which was trying to get younger children into sports,” she said.

“I happened to try fencing and even though the kit was far too big for me I really enjoyed it.

A-level results
Fencing champion Rhiannon Craig fell in love with the sport aged six (Family handout/PA)

“We’d moved to Chepstow and there happened to be a fencing club there called Gwent Sword, and so I went along to that.

“I think my parents were kind of hoping that I’d go along, I’d get hit a couple of times and think ‘maybe not’,” she added jokingly.

“I just absolutely fell in love with it. I love how competitive it is – there’s no draws in fencing. You win or you lose.”

Ms Craig is now the Wales senior national champion and competed in both the junior and senior Commonwealth Games events for her country.

A-level results
Rhiannon Craig picking up her A-level results at Chepstow School with acting head teacher of Kelly Bowd (left), and phase progress leader Sarah Harris (right) (Chepstow School/PA)

She said her teachers at Chepstow School had been supportive of her sporting endeavours and helped her by sending work to her while she was away at competitions.

Her love of sport also lead her to play an active role in the school’s student leadership team, working alongside headteacher Matthew Sims to improve sporting facilities.

“I really believe there’s a sport for everyone and that everyone should give sports a go even if you end up playing a super-obscure sport like fencing or something no-one has ever heard of,” Ms Craig said.

“Sport is a good way to cultivate new friendships, as well as keeping fit and getting out and about. And especially with exams, and exam stress, it’s an amazing stress reliever.”

Education minister Jeremy Miles at Coleg Sir Gar in Llanelli, South Wales on A-level results day. (Terry Morris/Welsh Government)
Education minister Jeremy Miles at Coleg Sir Gar in Llanelli, South Wales on A-level results day (Terry Morris/Welsh Government/PA)

The percentage of A-level entries in Wales to be awarded the top grades of A* and A this year was 40.9%, the overall pass rate for students being 98%.

Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles, who met students getting their results at Coleg Sir Gar on Thursday, said: “What we hoped to see in the results overall this year was a midpoint between last year and 2019, and broadly speaking that’s what we’ve seen.

“This has been a year where there has been significant disruption again and students have shown great resilience.

“I think the circumstances faced by young people over the last few years will mean many have become great self-starters.”

Mr Miles said he anticipated exams regulator Qualifications Wales will also allow next year’s students to have advanced information on topics expected to be covered in exams due to disruption they experienced this year to their studies.