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Run with the Wind & Throws - 1 May - Round-Up

under-23 athlete Alex Azu claimed a new personal best of 10.56 to register the fastest time of the night

02/05/2024 00:00, In Blog /

Atrocious weather failed to dampen spirits or performances at Welsh Athletics’ first event-specific meeting of the season.

Incessant rain throughout made conditions difficult for the sprinters and throwers at the Run With the Wind and Throws event in Cardiff on Wednesday evening.

But despite the sodden track, slippery throwing circles and implements, a number of athletes produced remarkable times and distances.

Harrison Walsh (DSW Para Athletics), who will be representing Great Britain at the World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan, later this month, won the para discus event during the worst conditions of the night.

F44 athlete Walsh, who won bronze in the discus for Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, claimed the win with a fine first round throw of 52.95m.

Michael Jenkins (Pembrokeshire), who continued the brilliant early season form which saw him set a new (F38) discus world record (subject to ratification) in Coventry at the weekend competed in the able-bodied discus event and was victorious.

Jenkins threw a new 2K discus personal best of 50.00m, before the final competition of the night was suspended after the third round due to the adverse weather.

Speaking about his record-breaking performance at the weekend for the first time, Jenkins said:

It was really surreal because I've been working towards that for a very, very long time.


I'd done the distance unofficially a few times but getting it at a competition where it can be ratified was an incredible feeling. I'm just very proud. And I think there's much bigger to come.

Unfortunately, Jenkins won’t be in Kobe, or the Paralympics in Paris later in the summer because his classification hasn’t been included.

I’ll be focussing on able-bodied this year,” he explained. “Obviously, there is a little bit of frustration, but I'm not really focusing on that. I’m going to deal with the cards I’m dealt.


So, I’m going to try as hard as I can, I know it will come in eventually, and when it does, hopefully I can smash it.

Welsh National Development Programme (NDP) athletes shone in the discus competition with Owen Garrett taking the win with 45.01m ahead of Storm Evans (Carmarthen Harriers) in second with 41.06m. Eurion John (Cardiff Athletics) was third with a new PB of 40.20.

Earlier in the evening, Aled Davies (Cardiff Athletics) (F63) launched his preparations for Kobe and Paris.

Opening his outdoor season, Davies won the para shot put competition with a second round distance of 15.39m.

However, the five-time world champion and Paralympic legend, who has been troubled by a persistent injury over the past two years, wasn’t entirely happy with his performance. Davies shared:

Technically it’s just not quite there because it’s been such a disruptive two years with injury and whatnot, I’m disappointed, but it's May and it’s only my first comp of the year so I can’t be too harsh on myself. It can only get better from here.


Having two majors in one year is hard work. And the worlds are so early in the year, there aren’t many competitions around to prepare.

I missed the indoors because of injury and I’ve only been back for about two or three weeks. So, it was great to be down here and have this event and have a chance to compete before I go off to Kobe.

As for the injury, Davies said:

I’m pain free, but I’ve got to have an operation at the end of the year, so it's just managing things to get through the next few months. I haven't been able to train to the capacity I want to train at for a while.


So, a lot of things missing right now, but I don't know, I feel like I've got one in the chamber so it’s going to be a bit of roulette over the next couple of months.

Adam Harcombe (Rhondda AC) was second with 8.91m, while Julie Rogers (DSW Para Athletics) was the top female athlete with 7.61m.

NDP athlete Dafydd Pawlett (Yate and District) took the honours in the shot put with a winning distance of 13.43m ahead of Adetokunbo Akanbi-Mortimer (Rhymney Valley) with 12.53m. Gwen Lewis (Swansea Harriers) was the top female athlete with a best of 10.71m.

Evie Cooper (Neath Harriers) was the top female in the hammer competition with a best distance of 50.82m, ahead of clubmate and fellow NDP athlete Amelia Mitchell with 49.15m.

There were also some stand-out performances in the sprints, especially from some of the younger Welsh athletes.

A total of 79 athletes took part in 10 100m heats. In the top seeded men’s race of the evening, under-23 athlete Alex Azu (Cardiff Athletics) claimed a new personal best of 10.56 to register the fastest time of the night to edge out Great Britain international and club mate Sam Gordon, who clocked 10.57 in second place.

In the same race, there were also PBs for NDP athletes Lewis Stephens (Cardiff Athletics) and Aron Tugwell (Cardiff Archers). Stephens finished fourth in 10.65 and Tugwell was just behind in fifth, clocking 10.66.

Another NDP athlete, Max Evans (Maldwyn Harriers), claimed a PB to win the second 100m heat of the night in 10.94. Second place Marek Warzocha (Swansea Harriers) also claimed a new PB of 10.97.

T47 sprinter John Bridge (Cardiff Athletics) clocked 12.00, while NDP T35 athlete Will Bishop (DSW Para Athletics) ran 14.14.

There was a high-quality matchup between some of the fastest young female sprinters in the United Kingdom in heat five of the 100m.

Under-20 athlete Faith Akinbileje (Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC), who has two European Under-18 gold medals to her name, took the win in 11.70.

But she was followed home by two young Welsh sprinters who now top their respective UK age group rankings this season.

Under-17 NDP athlete Nell Desir (Cardiff Archers) finished second in 11.95, while Aliyah Afolabi (Cardiff Archers) was fifth in a new PB of 12.26 – which put her top of the UK under-15 rankings so far this summer.

The 200m was contested by 76 athletes across 10 races. The fastest performance came from Arron Owen (Cardiff Athletics) who won the top seeded men’s heat in 21.69, ahead of Aron Tugwell (Cardiff Archers) in 21.79 and Marek Warzocha (Swansea Harriers) in 22.14.

NDP athlete Darcy Coslett (Llanelli), who earlier ran a PB of 12.45 in the 100m, produced a brilliant new PB to claim the fastest female 200m time of the night. The under-17 sprinter clocked 25.13.

Aliyah Afolabi (Cardiff Archers) followed up her excellent performance in the 100m with 25.30. Eshter Adikpe (Cardiff Athletics) clocked 25.44, while under-17 athlete Beatrice Morgan (Carmarthen Athletics) registered 25.87.

The hurdles performance of the night came from Transition Programme athlete Grace Morgan, who won the under-18 girls, under-20 women and senior women 100m hurdles race in 14.31.

There were a number of other PB and stand out performances across events and age groups throughout the evening, which were a credit to all the athletes, coaches and officials involved given the testing weather conditions.


PHOTOS - Please credit Paul Stillman