Wales has a fifth competitor at the upcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships as Ieuan Thomas is added to the team in the 3000m Steeplechase.
The James Thie coached athlete has had a superb season to date, running numerous Commonwealth Games A standards, and also claiming a Bronze Medal at the British Championships in early July. Despite this, he found himself agonisingly short of the automatic standard required for selection.
He seemed destined to capture this at the recent British League match in Bedford, where the Cardiff AAC athlete was on track to run a new lifetime best and qualifying mark, before falling on the penultimate hurdle (he still won the race by some distance). Seeming ready to divert his attention to the build up to the Commonwealth Games in 2018, Ieuan has been given an automatic invite by the IAAF by being within the top ranked athletes in the World (3 per nation).
He will therefore join fellow Welsh Athletes Bethan Davies (Andi Drake) (20km Walk), Josh Griffiths (Marathon), Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon) (Marathon) and David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist) (110mH) in the British Team for the 2017 World Championships.
On his selection Ieuan commented ‘I’m blown away by the selection, its been a tough few years, but the support provided by my coach, James Thie, Welsh Athletics’ National Endurance Manager, Chris Jones, and the Welsh Athletics Medical Team (Liba Sheeran & Adam Rattenberry) has been superb. I don’t just want to go make up the numbers; my aim is to make the final and be in the mix, and hopefully build on this for the Gold Coast next year.’
Head of Coaching and Performance Scott Simpson commented ‘we are all delighted that Ieuan has been added to the team and given such a great opportunity. Competing at a home World Championships will be very special. I would like to congratulate all five of Wales’ selected athletes – having such a good representation at this level is testimony to the work that has been put in by the athletes, their coaches and support teams. We wish them all the best for their campaigns in London; I am confident that they will represent Great Britain proudly’
The event begins on the 4th of August, with 4 of the 5 athletes beginning their campaigns on Sunday 6th of August.Bethan Davies will compete on the streets of London on the final day of competition the 13th of August.