Welsh Athletes on podium as British Record falls

 

Race walker Bethan Davies (Coach: Andi Davies) led the way with a gold medal as almost 50 Welsh athletes travelled to Birmingham to take part in the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham on the weekend.

Davies, who had already qualified for next month's World Athletics Championship in London over the 20k distance, won the 5K title in a new British record time of 21 mins 21.52 secs.

As well as the gold medal, her record breaking performance earned her a financial bonus of $2,500 from the event sponsors.

The championships at Alexander Stadium, which also incorporated the British team trials for the World Championships, saw a number of other Welsh athletes claim medals.

The most dramatic medal-winning performance came from Rebecca Chapman (Coach:Francis Baker), who claimed a silver medal behind Lorraine Ugen in the long jump.

Chapman saved her best until last as she flew out to a personal best leap of 6.54m to break the Welsh record and finish just five centimetres behind Ugen.

Her performance wasn't enough to clinch the World Championship qualifying standard, but was an "A" qualifying distance for next year's Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

There was more Welsh silver in the men's shot put where Gareth Winter's (Coach:Zane Duquemin) second round effort of 17.35m was enough to bring him a British Championship medal, four months after becoming a father.

“I was consistent which Is what I wanted. I’ve had quite a busy year, I just became a dad four months ago, so that obviously gives its own trials! But I was really happy with today. I was going into it thinking bronze was probably what we are aiming at so everything else is a bonus," said Gareth

In the discus, Olympian and former British Champion Brett Morse had been hoping for gold, but had to be content with a bronze, registering a distance of 60.12.

Morse said afterwards: “The first three rounds were very comfortable, I almost took it like a training session to get into the rhythm of things. But then when I tried to put the power on, I messed it up a little bit which has been the story of my season. Whenever I’ve tried to put a bit of power into it to get big throws, it falls apart. So really frustrated.” 

Another Welsh athlete to claim bronze was 3,000 metre steeplechaser Ieuan Thomas (Coach: James Thie), who was hoping to seal an automatic World Championship place by finishing in the top two and running the qualification standard - a goal he is still hopeful of achieving.

After the race Thomas said: “It’s always great to get on the podium and always great to wear the Welsh vest and get a medal at a British Championships. But I’m always striving for a little bit more, I know there’s more there, so now I’ve got to go and find a fast race and go after that world standard again.”

There was also bronze for pole-vaulter Sally Peake (Coach:Scott Simpson), who posted a height of 4.25m in challenging windy conditions.

“It was a bit difficult with the wind today, I struggled a little bit. But I had a couple of really good jumps which is promising. I still think I can jump a PB this season so I’m really hopeful of that in the next couple of competitions."

There was bitter disappointment, however, for World Championship hopeful David Omoregie  (Coach:Benke Blomkvist) in the 110m hurdles.

The Cardiff AAC athlete, who has achieved the London qualifying time, was hoping to cement his place on the team by winning the British Championship.

After winning his heat comfortably in the joint fastest qualifying time of 13.64, he could only finish fifth in the final in a time of 13.93 after hitting the first hurdle and not being able to recover.

Despite the disappointment, he is hoping to bounce back at next weekend's Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London.

Speaking after the race he said: "I got out well. I clipped the first hurdle, got really close to the second then I just skied the third. I came off that one badly and from there it was just fighting really. It's disappointing, very disappointing. 

 

"I've got the anniversary games next week, so I will try to make up for it there. I know I'm in really good shape, I've been training well and I ran really well last weekend."

 

Although there were no more medals for the Welsh athletes, there were a number of other notable performances.

In the 400m hurdles, Caryl Granville (Coach: Darrell Maynard) won her heat in a season's best time of 57.42, which also gave her a Commonwealth Games "B" qualifying time.

The Swansea Harrier finished a hugely creditable fifth place in the final behind champion Eilidh Doyle, and in the process clocked another Commonwealth Games "B" time of 57.46.

The women's javelin saw seventeen-year-old Bethan Rees (Coach:Mark Pinner) throw a personal best distance of 49.56m, while in the shot put, Adele Nicholl (Adrian Palmer) finished fifth, one place ahead of Sarah Omoregie (Coach:Gareth Lease), who posted a personal best of 14.12.

In a high quality women's 1500 metres final, Melissa Courtney (Coach: Rob Denmark) finished fifth behind the likes of Laura Weightman and Jessica Judd, and ahead of Hannah England and countrywoman Rhianwedd Price (Coach: Houston Franks).

Another high standard final saw Cardiff AAC athlete Rowan Axe (Coach: Craig Winrow) finish eighth ahead of clubmate Tom Marshall (Coach: James Thie) in the men's event. In the women's steeplechase, Melanie Wilkins ran a personal best time of 10.37.50.

Cardiff AAC sprinter Sam Gordon  (Coach: Matt Elias) continued his fine form by winning his men’s 100m in 10.40, but was forced to pull out of the semi-finals with a hamstring problem.

Notable performances:

Gold:

Bethan Davies- 5000m Racewalk (21.21.52) A New British Record

Silver:

Rebecca Chapman- Long Jump (6.54m) Welsh Record and a Commonwealth A Standard

Gareth Winter- Shot Put (17.35) 

Bronze:

Sally Peake- Pole Vault (4.25m)

Ieuan Thomas- 3000m Steeplechase (8.43.77)

Brett Morse- Discus (60.12m)

4th Place:

Caryl Granville- 400m Hurdles (57.42 / 57.46) Achieved 2 commonwealth ‘B’ Standards

Bethan Rees- Javelin (49.56) A new personal best

5th Place:

Adele Nicoll- Shot Put (15.52)

Melissa Courtney- 1500m (4.10.16)

David Omoregie- 110m Hurdles (13.93)

6th Place:

Sarah Omoregie- Shot Put (14.12) A new personal best

7th Place:

Melanie Wilkins- 3000m Steeplechase (10.37.50) A new personal best

8th Place:

Rowan Axe- 1500m (3.50.34)

Aled Davies- Discuss (53.58m)

Bethan Davies

Bethan Davies en route to a British Record

Rebecca Chapman Jumping her way to a Welsh Record

 

Ieuan Thomas on his way to a place on the podium

Sally Peake Vaulting her way to a Bronze Medal

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

  • WAG
  • SCW
  • UKA