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Welsh Senior & U15 Outdoor Track & Field Championships - Preview

13/06/2024 00:00, I Mewn Blog /

This weekend’s Welsh Senior and Under-15 Track and Field Championships has attracted a stellar line-up of entries.

Current global champions, world record holders and some of the most exciting young talent in the United Kingdom will compete across Saturday and Sunday at the International Sports Campus in Cardiff.

With the Paris Olympic Games and Paralympics on the horizon, the 106th staging of the event takes on an extra focus for some of the competitors.

Among those taking part include 10-time World Para Champion Aled Davies (Cardiff Athletics), who last month added to his remarkable medal haul by taking gold in the F42 shot put in Japan.

Davies will be joined by another Welsh athlete who claimed shot put gold in Kobe -Sabrina Fortune (Deeside). Not only did Fortune claim her third consecutive global title in Japan, she broke the world record in the process.

They will be joined by another medallist from the Para World Champs in the shape of Harrison Walsh (DSW Para Athletics) who will be competing in the discus in Cardiff.

Also lining up in the highly competitive discus competition will be Michael Jenkins (Pembrokeshire Harriers) who broke the F38 world record in Coventry earlier this season.

The throws will also see new Welsh javelin record holder Freya Jones (Newham and Essex Beagles) competing at her first Welsh national championships.

Another athlete with her eyes firmly set on Paris is Paralympic Games medallist Olivia Breen (City of Portsmouth) who will be competing in the senior women’s long jump.

The track events feature the likes of Joe Brier (Swansea Harriers) taking to the blocks in the men’s 400m on Saturday.

Having represented Great Britain in the 4x400m relay at the Tokyo Olympics, Brier will be hoping to impress and emulate that feat in Paris later this summer.

Sister and fellow GB international, Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers), will also be hoping to shine over the one-lap distance as well as the 200m, which takes place on Sunday.

One of the mostly hotly contested events on day one of the championships is likely to be the women’s shot put, which has attracted a strong non-Welsh entry as well as a formidable home-grown line-up.

As well as para world champion Fortune, four of the UK’s top six ranked able-bodied throwers will be taking part, including Olympian Sophie McKinna (Great Yarmouth) and former British Champion Amelia Campbell (Thames Valley Harriers).

The Welsh domestic battle will be between Sarah Omoregie (Vanderbilt/Cardiff Athletics) and two-time British Champion Adele Nicoll (Birchfield Harriers), who have both been hitting the headlines in the USA for very different reasons.

Last weekend, Omoregie finished seventh in the shot put at the prestigious NCCA Outdoor Championships in Oregon, which brought her the much sought-after All-American First Team status.

Meanwhile, Nicoll rounded off a massively successful winter on the global bobsleigh tour by winning a two-woman bob silver medal in a World Cup event at Lake Placide, along with her brake woman Kya Placide (Cardiff Athletics) who is entered for the 100m at the weekend.

Both Nicoll and Omoregie are transition programme athletes which is part of Welsh Athletics’ performance pathway – designed to develop the best and most promising athletes in the land.

Another transition programme athlete competing will be hammer thrower Amber Simpson (University of Illinois /Wrexham AAC), who like Omoregie gained All American First Team status by finishing eighth at the NCCA Champs and is currently ranked third in the UK.

Others include Justin Davies (Team Bath), who last weekend clocked a new personal best in the 800m, which he will contest on Sunday, having competed over 400m on Saturday.

Davies will be joined by fellow transition programme athlete David Locke (Cardiff Athletics) in the line-up for the 400.

Some of the busiest athletes this weekend will be Wales’ array of multi-eventers, who will be led by Birmingham Commonwealth Games heptathlete Lauren Evans (Cardiff Athletics), who will contest the 100m hurdles, high jump and long jump.

Among the other all-rounders entered in multiple disciplines are Matilda Quick (Swansea Harriers) – currently the number one ranked under-17 pentathlete and heptathlete in the UK and Luca Phillips (Cardiff Archers) who is ranked number one long jump and triple jumper at under-17 in the UK.

Both are part of Welsh Athletics’ 60-strong National Development Programme featuring the nation’s most promising young athletes – another strand of the governing body’s performance pathway.

The weekend’s action also includes the Welsh Under-15 championships where Aiden Angilletta (Deeside), who is ranked at number one in the triple jump in the UK, is entered in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, 80m hurdles and pole vault across the two days!

He will be joined by club mate Lucca Tardivel who is entered into five events across the weekend and will be gunning to beat Angilletta in the long jump following his impressive win and new personal best at the Inter Regional Track & Field Championships last weekend.

Another outstanding Under-15 multi eventer taking part is Tiana Odugbesan (Cardiff Archers), who will contest the 300m, shot put, 75m hurdles and the long jump.

Indeed, Wales’ wealth of emerging talent will be something of a theme throughout the event which will see some of the UKs finest young sprinters taking part over 100 and 200m.

Aliyah Afolabi (Cardiff Archers) is the fastest Under-15 female over 100m and 200m in the UK this season, while Nell Desir (Cardiff Archers) is the fastest under-17 female over 100m.

Lewis Stephens (Cardiff Athletics), who has been selected to represent Great Britain at the prestigious Manheim Under-20 International later this month, will contest both the men’s 100 and 200m. 

Meanwhile, T35 sprinter Will Bishop (Cardiff Metropolitan University Athletics Club) and T37/F37 athlete Tomi Roberts-Jones (Newport Harriers), who also excels at the long jump, are two of the fastest sprinters in the UK in their classifications. Both athletes medalled at the recent Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games.

At the other end of the speed scale, British Athletics Championships medallist Gracie Griffiths (Pembrokeshire Harriers) will be looking to claim the Welsh title in the 5km walk, which takes place on Saturday.

Some of Wales’ talented young throwers will also be showcased across the weekend. The women’s discus will see Storm Evans (Carmarthen Harriers) and Lucy Harris Swansea Harriers – two of the UKs top under-20 athletes – going head-to-head.

Meanwhile, Mia Lloyd (T63/F63) (Carmarthen Athletics) and Funmi Oduwaiye (F44) (DSW Para Athletics) both ranked number one in their respective categories and age groups will contest the ambulant/para female discus.

There will also be seated shot and discus events, which will feature the likes of Kieran Jones (DSW Para Athletics), who is second in the shot in UK this season, Jac Sheehan (F34) (Carmarthen Harriers) ranked third in the shot, and Ellie Bowen (DSW Para Athletics), who last month achieved a new PB of 16.93m in the discus.