Monday 7th January, 2019
At the beginning of a New Year, the first championship event of 2019 took place at the National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff over the weekend. The Welsh Athletics Indoor Open Meeting (incorporating the South, East & West Wales & South West England Championships) saw athletes from the under 13 to under 17 age groups looking to get their year off to a good start ahead of the remaining busy winter months.
Following the first successful day at the start of December, over 500 athletes were back at the indoor track to battle for individual performances and podium positions. A big turnout of friends, family and spectators watched on from the side-lines and made plenty of noise to add to the atmosphere, with only standing room spaces available for the majority of the afternoon.
Additionally, the Welsh Athletics Announcers Course was arranged in coordination with the meet; led by the experienced James Thie with participants commentating on the races and providing information bilingually. Using the fantastic facilities in Cyncoed on Sunday, competitors travelled from all over the southern part of Wales, from Pembrokeshire to Newport, and even as far as Exeter, Plymouth and Andover.
The morning saw a series of 800m and 1500m time trial races held around the track, as cross-country runners took a break from the rain and mud outdoors to compete alongside familiar faces over a 200m track. Those competitions not held on day 1 were included in the second day's schedule on the field, with the shot, long jump and pole vault events held for all six age groups. A minute's silence was also observed for Brian Alvey during the morning.
A big thank you to all the officials and volunteers for their continued hard work, who ensure that each event can take place successfully during the busy indoor fixtures calendar.
Full results from Sunday's meeting can be found here
The indoor action continues to come thick and fast over the coming weeks, with attentions now turning towards the Welsh Athletics Indoor Senior Championships, which take place at NIAC on the weekend of 26 & 27th January.
Thanks go to Nathan Jones for the detailed coverage from Sunday's meeting.