FORGET Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin and Linford Christie, there’s a new gold medal winning runner in town.

Torfaen Play Service is celebrating after its mascot – TJ the Bear – took the gold medal at the annual Dragons’ mascot race.

The event, which takes place every year at half time in the Dragons’ first home game in January, sees local mascots compete for the Mascot Race title.

And on Saturday, at the halfway mark of Dragons’ 25-18 win over Ospreys, TJ the Bear took to the field alongside his six competitors to race for the prestigious honour.


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Alongside TJ were Dragons’ mascot Rodney the Dragon, Osprey’s Ozzie the Osprey, Western Power Distribution’s Pylon Man, Sport Caerphilly’s Cae the Croc, Welsh language course provider Urdd’s Mistar Urdd and the For Luca Hands, mascots for the For Luca appeal.

Before the match, the mascots took to the pitch to entertain the crowd and warm them up for the game.

In a race from one end of the pitch to the other, TJ the Bear left the others in his wake, storming home to a first-place finish.

Away from the track, TJ the Bear can often be spotted at community events, in schools and at play clubs promoting every child’s right to play.

Torfaen Play Service manager Julian Davenne said: “It was a great experience to see TJ promoting every child’s right to play and hearing so many children calling out his name, and of course it was brilliant that he won the race for Torfaen.”