Continuing with our build up towards the 100th Welsh Senior Championships, we look back at the impressive career of two-time Welsh Record holder and 1500m World Championship Bronze Medallist Hayley Tullett.
It was in 1987 that Hayley Tullett first came to prominence when taking the Welsh U15 600m indoor title. As a junior, she picked up a multitude of Welsh titles and in 1996, she began to exert her dominance on the senior stage. She took both the 800m and 1500m Welsh Senior Championship titles, and this notable double gave her further recognition across Wales. A further two Welsh Senior 800m titles, and four British Senior 1500m titles saw her become an established star of British middle distance running.
Hayley gained her first Great Britain vest in 1997 when selected to compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Paris. Further call-ups to the Great Britain team came when she was selected for the Europa Cup, competing in the 800m, and in the World University Championships over both 800m & 1500m.
In 2000, Hayley set the first of her Welsh Records over the 3000m at the Europa Cup in Gateshead. Her form was rewarded with Olympic selection and she would go on to finish in 11th place.
2002 was to be another successful year for Hayley. She competed in three European Championship events; cross country (winning a bronze medal as a team) and both indoors and outdoors over 1500m. The Commonwealth Games in Manchester came later that year and Hayley had an outstanding run over 1500m to win the silver medal behind future Olympic champion Kelly Holmes.
In 2003 Hayley continued her excellent form taking the win in front of a classy field at the European Indoor Cup. Paris was to be the setting for what most believe to be Hayley’s finest career moment; the IAAF World Championships was to prove to be a very successful one for Tullett. Running the 1500m she executed a brilliant race in the final to claim the bronze medal. Her time of 3:59.95 still stands as the Welsh Record and, at the time, ranked her second on the UK all-time list over 1500m.
After over 20 years of competing in the sport Hayley made her final major games appearance at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Proudly sporting the Welsh vest, Hayley bowed out with her third major medal, claiming the bronze medal in a hotly contested final.
Hayley’s career as a whole was one with many successes and triumphs. She finished her career with personal bests of 2:00.49 for 800 metres, 3:59.95 for 1500 metres and 8:45.36 for 3000 metres, two of which stand as Welsh Records today. She competed in two Olympic games, 5 World Championships, 2 Commonwealth Games and multiple European Championships (across different disciplines) finishing her career with 3 major championship 1500m medals.