Adrian Thomas

Adrian ThomasIn a long and successful career in Athletics Adrian Thomas has held key positions either as a Coach or Team Manager at the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Commonwealth Games, European Championships, European Cup, European Youth Olympics, European u20 Championships and World u20 Championships. With such a hugely impressive C.V. it comes as no surprise that in 1993 he was voted Welsh Coach of the Year for Individual Performers and was awarded the status of U.K. Master Coach.

The Great Britain 4x400m men’s relay team has had for many decades a long and proud tradition of successes at global championships. The record books show that the 1990’s were a truly “golden era“ of success at a time when GB was blessed with a squad of outstanding one-lap specialists amongst whom were Welshmen such as Iwan Thomas and Jamie Baulch. Tim Benjamin and Matt Elias continued the tradition into the early years of the 21st century. Welshman Adrian Thomas was at the very heart of this great era as GB National Event coach for the 400m and 4x400m relay.

The Athlete

Adrian Thomas was a talented and successful sportsman in the junior ranks both on the rugby field as a player and on the track as a sprinter. In 1967 he played for the Welsh Schools u15 rugby team on the wing at a time when many Welsh schoolboys could only dream of being capped for their country. It was Wales, it was rugby and rugby has always held a special status in Welsh sporting culture.

Adrian went on to play first class rugby for Maesteg, Hereford and Herefordshire. On the track whilst competing for Cardiff A.A.C. Adrian made his mark at the highest U.K. junior levels. He became the Amateur Athletic Association (i.e. United Kingdom) u17 100m champion in 1969. In 1970 he became AAA u20 Indoor 60m champion and in so doing broke the Welsh u20 record. Outdoors that year at the AAA Champs he won bronze in the u20 100m final and became part of the GB u20 4x100m relay squad. He represented Wales many times at senior level. During this time Adrian was coached by Owen Edwards.

The Teacher

Adrian Thomas, Bachelor of Science (Oceanography/Zoology), Master of Education had a successful career in teaching having graduated from Swansea University in 1973. His career included teaching posts at Belmont Abbey Hereford, Cynffig Comprehensive where he had been a pupil, Gowerton School, Morriston Comprehensive and finally as Deputy Head at Glan Afan Port Talbot. He retired from teaching in 2010.

He was coach at Swansea Harriers from 1981 to 2001. Since retiring from teaching he now coaches at Bridgend Athletic Club.

by Gwyn Williams (May 2011)

Coaching Achievements

GB Coaching/GB National Event 400m and 4x400m
1989-1991 GB u20 400 & 4x400
1991-1992 GB senior men 400m & 4x400m
1993-2001 GB u20/u23/senior men & women 400m & 4x400m

GB Team Coach at Olympic games/World champs/European champs/World cups/European cups.

GB Team Coach at World u20 & European u20 championships

Team Coach Wales
1998 Commonwealth games - Bronze 4x400m
Numerous Welsh senior teams
Numerous Welsh Celtic/age group teams

Team Manager GB
2003 European Youth Olympics
2004 European u20
2005 World u20 championships

Team Manager Wales
2006 Commonwealth games

Coaches Education

400m level 4 course lecturer from 1992 onwards
Various national conferences
1995 lecture/coaching tour Indonesia
1997 European relay coaches conference - France
1998 French athletics federation 400m conference

Coaching highlights

GB 4x400m performances
European/Commonwealth men 4x400m record 2:56:60 [1996]
1989-1991 GB u20 400m & 4x400m
1990 Silver World u20 champs men
1991 Gold European u20 champs men
1994 Gold European champs/1st World cup/1st European cup men
1994 Gold World cup/1st European cup women
1995 1st European cup men
1996 Silver Olympic men/1st European cup
1997 Gold World champs men/1st European cup
1997 3rd European cup women
1998 Gold European champs/2nd World cup/1st European cup men
1998 Bronze European champs women
1999 1st European cup men
2000 2nd European cup men

Other medals won by the 4x 400 u20/u23 squads 1993-2001
1993 European u20 Gold men
1994 World u20 Bronze men
1995 European u20 Gold men/Bronze women
1996 World u20 Bronze men
1997 European u20 Bronze men /u23 Gold women
1999 European u20 Bronze men/u23 Bronze men
2000 World u20 Gold women
2001 European u20 Silver/u23 Gold men & women


Daniel Caines (400m) 1997 - 2000
[March 2001 World Indoor Champion]
GB u20 /GB u23/GB senior
2000 AAA indoor champion
2000 finalist European indoor
2000 Olympic semi-finalist [45.37s – 44.6 relay]

[While at Swansea university term time- linked with Joe Caines (dad)during vacation]

Mark Rowlands (400mH) 1992-1998
GB u20 / Wales senior 400mh/4x400m
1995 Silver European Youth Olympics
1996 Bronze 4x400m World u20 champs
1997 Bronze 4x400m/finalist 400mh European u20 champs
1997 AAA u20 champion

Rhys Williams (400mH) 1998-2001
2001 European Youth Olympics Gold medal 400mh

Nicola Crowther (400m) 1995-1999
GB senior/GB u23; England

Louise Whitehead (400m) 1995-2000
GB u23/GB a senior team/Welsh senior
4th 2000 Olympic trials 400m

Steve Rees (100m/200m) 1988-1992
GB u20/Wales senior sprints & relay
1991 AAA u20 indoor champion

Kathryn Williams (400mH) 1993-1997
GB u20/Welsh senior 400mh
1997 2nd AAA u20 championships

Julia Charlton (Heptathlon) 1982-1984
GB u20 heptathlon

Lisa Gibbs (Heptathlon) 1983-1985/1987-1988
GB u20 heptathlon

Angharad James (100m) 1994-1997
GB u20 4x100m relay

Welsh Senior
Louise Whitehead - 400m, 4x400
Kathryn Williams - 400mh
Non Evans - 100mh, 400mh
Michelle John - 4x400m
Berian Davies - 110mh
Shaun Lewis - 400m, 4x400m
Joe Lloyd - 400m, 4x400m
David Williams - 4x400m
Steve Rees/Angharad James / Richard James sprints/relay
Lisa Gibbs - hurdles, heptathlon
Julia Charlton - hurdles, high jump, heptathlon

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

  • WAG
  • SCW
  • UKA