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UK Athletics Championships Round-Up - Day 2

Gracie Griffiths Wins Race Walk.jpg

30/06/2024 00:00, In Blog / Track & Field /

Race walker Gracie Griffiths (Pembrokeshire Harriers) provided the perfect start to day two of the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester with one of the most dominant performances of the entire weekend.

After a cagey first few laps in the 5,000m final, Griffiths pulled away from the field and there was no looking back once the 17-year-old had hit the front.

Crossing the finish line in 23:53.93, Griffiths was almost 25 seconds ahead of silver medallist Abigail Jennings, who clocked a season’s best 24:18.02.

Commenting on her gold medal performance, Griffiths said: “I think my time wasn't the best, but I have come away as British Champion."

“I am over the moon and I don't think I could have given any more today, so I am happy with that. I started the race off slower than usual which may have helped. Not a bad race but room for improvement."

“I was feeling a lot stronger as the race went on. I am happy about that because I have struggled in the past so finishing strong is a positive for me. Since the end of last season, I wanted to come here and win the gold medal and challenge myself.”

However, there was disappointment for Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Poole AC) in the women’s 1500m final. Like Jeremiah Azu she had a qualifying time for the Paris Olympics and was looking for a podium finish to seal a place in the Great Britain team.

However, after qualifying for the final by finishing second in her heat on Saturday, the Welsh record holder wasn’t able to get amongst the top positions on Sunday.

Having made the pace in the early half of the race, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist agonisingly finished fourth in a time of 4:12.39, as Georgia Bell took gold, followed home by Laura Muir.

The men’s 1500m, which rounded off the Sunday’s track action saw Piers Copeland (Pontypridd Roadents) finish ninth in 3:41.22.

There was a big Welsh presence in the women’s shot put final on Sunday afternoon, which was delayed because the competition had to be moved from one end of the stadium to another due to a problem with one of the throwing circles.

It meant the competition rounded off the championships’ events. Great Britain bobsleigh star Adele Nicoll (Birchfield Harriers) went into the competition looking for a hat-trick of British championship shot put gold medals.

However, Nicoll eventually finished outside the medals in fourth place as she recorded a best throw of 16.97m. US-based Sarah Omoregie (Cardiff Athletics) was sixth with 16.03m.

Meanwhile, Sabrina Fortune (Deeside AC) who is heading for the Paris Paralympics, later this summer, was ninth with a best of 14.44m.

Olivia Breen (City of Portsmouth), who also is going to the Paris Paralympics, finished ninth in the long jump where she recorded a longest distance of 4.73m.

On the track, Tom Wilcock (Northampton AC) cruised into the men’s 110m hurdles final, despite there being a heavy fall in the lane next to him half-way through the race. Wilcock finished second in 13.97.

In the final, the Welshman finished just outside the medals as he lunged for the line in fifth place, clocking 13.86.

In a super-fast men’s 3,000m steeplechase final won by Olympic hopeful Phil Norman in a championship record, Thomas Chaston (Belgrave Harriers/University of Portland) finished a highly creditable sixth place.

The US-based athlete recorded a new personal best of 8:42.21 – taking five seconds off his previous fastest time.

Tom Walley (Wrexham) finished fifth in the men’s pole vault where he recorded a best height of 4.95m.

There was also a battling fifth place finish in the men’s 5,000m for fellow north Wales athlete Osian Perrin (Menai Track and Field), who crossed the line in 13:48.44

Hannah Lake (Cardiff Athletics) bowed out of the women’s high jump final going agonising close to clearing 1.68m.

Full results