British Athletics announced at the end of last week, which athletes would be supported in 2018 as part of the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP). This programme is specifically focussed on winning Olympic and Paralympic medals in 2020 and 2024. The investment into the WCPP comes from The National Lottery and is distributed by UK Sport.
Of the 112 athletes named across all sub-divisions of the programme, Wales boasts 12 athletes who will receive membership from December 1st 2017.
Six athletes are named in the Paralympic Podium programme – who will now all be focussed on winning medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The group of athletes includes; 2017 IPC double World Champion, Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones) (F42 Discus and Shot Put) along with 2017 IPC World Championship gold medallists Hollie Arnold (F46 Javelin) and Olivia Breen (Aston Moore) (F38 Long Jump). Joining them on the programme are the other two individual medallists from those World Championships; Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) (F41 Shot Put) and Jordan Howe (Christian Malcolm) (T35 100m), along with 2016 Paralympic medallist, Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson) (F20 Shot Put).
Two athletes are named as part of the Olympic Podium Potential programme. Retained on the programme is David Omoregie (Brigitte Foster-Hylton) – who broke through in 2016 with a wonderful 13.24 over the 110m hurdles. Despite attending both the European Indoor and World Outdoor Championships in 2017, David was disappointed with his season and relocated to Jamaica in order to seek further progression. Added to the programme this year was Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) whose stunning performance at the recent Frankfurt marathon obviously caught the eye of the selectors. Both David and Dewi will now be even more focussed on how they can bring home a medal at either the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Games.
Three athletes have been included in the Paralympic Podium Potential cohort. This includes Cardiff-based athletes; Rhys Jones (Christian Malcolm) (T37 100m) and Stephen Morris (James Thie) (T20 1500m), both of whom competed at the IPC World Championships in London this summer, alongside Laura Sugar (Joe McDonnell) in the T44 100m and 200m.
Also named in the Olympic Relays group is 2016 Olympian Seren Bundy-Davies (Matt Elias). After winning relay bronze at the World Championships in Beijing, Seren has been supported on the WCPP. Having been injured for much of 2017, Seren has now relocated to Cardiff to work with Matt Elias and his group.
The full list of Welsh athletes support on the WCPP are;
- Hollie Arnold
- Olivia Breen (Aston Moore)
- Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones)
- Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes)
- Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson)
- Jordan Howe (Christian Malcolm)
Olympic Podium Potential
- Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans)
- David Omoregie (Brigitte Foster-Hylton)
Paralympic Podium Potential
- Rhys Jones (Christian Malcolm)
- Stephen Morris (James Thie)
- Laura Sugar (Joe McDonnell)
- Seren Bundy-Davies (Matt Elias)
Head of Coaching and Performance, Scott Simpson, had this to say;
“I’m delighted that so many Welsh athletes have been recognised and supported as part of this programme – it is both acknowledgement of their successes to date combined with their perceived future potential. It is especially exciting to see new-comers to the programme; Dewi Griffiths and Rhys Jones. One of the core objectives of the Sport Wales Elite Sport Strategy (to which Welsh Athletics aligns) is for Welsh athletes to account for 10% of the WCPP. With 12 athletes included in this year’s cohort, Wales now boasts 10.7% of the athletes on WCPP in Athletics. I would like to extend my congratulations to all the athletes, their coaches and support teams on all their achievements thus far and wish them all the best in their pursuit of Olympic and Paralympic success.”
The full list of British Athletes supported on the WCPP can be seen here;