Our History

Welsh Athletics boasts a long and proud history of success and achievement. Great athletes wore the national colours for more than a century and brought Wales immense recognition. Here are some of the most important milestones in the history of our sport in the Principality.

Welsh Athletics Milestones

Recalled by Clive Williams

1860    John Chambers holds a sports meeting at Hafod House, Aberystwyth - probably the first record of an athletics meeting being held in Wales

1865    Chambers organises “athletic sports” at Aberystwyth.

1865    William Richards, born in “Glamorgan” sets a world record for the mile with 4 mins. 17 ¼ seconds.

1871    St. David’s College Lampeter and Llandovery College hold athletics “sports” meetings.

1875    Newport Athletic Club formed and holds “athletic sports.”

1877    Cardiff-born William Gale achieves the phenomenal deed of walking 1,500 miles in 1,000 hours. He was the world’s leading pedestrian.

1879    Llanfair Caereinion Powys-born George Dunning sets a world 40 miles record at Stamford Bridge of 4:50.12.

1880    Newport AC represented by Richard Mullock at the formation of the AAA at The Randolph Hotel, Oxford - Chambers also there.

1881    Dunning effectively sets an inaugural world record for the half-marathon when he runs 1:13.46 on a track at Stamford Bridge. The distance is actually 13 miles 440 yards, i.e. further than the designated half marathon distance of 13 miles 192.5 yards.

1881    Dunning becomes the first Welsh born athlete to win the (English) National cross country title.

1882    Roath (Cardiff) Harriers formed. They amalgamated with Birchgrove (Cardiff) Harriers in 1968 to form Cardiff AAC.1890.

1890    Will Parry, born in Buttington, near Welshpool wins the (English) National cross country title for a third successive year.

1893    First Welsh amateur track championships held as part of an open sports meeting. Just 2 events held - 100 yards and mile won by Charles Thomas (Reading AC) and Hugh Fairlamb (Roath).

1894    First Welsh Cross Country Championships held at Ely Racecourse Cardiff won by Hugh Fairlamb.

1896    Welsh Cross Country Association formed.

1896    Newport Harriers formed. They are the oldest surviving club in Wales.

1899    Cardiff athlete Harry Cullum wins world professional 880 yards championship in Manchester.

1903    Wales compete in the first International Cross Country Championships in Scotland. This race is the fore-runner of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

1903    Scotsman Harry Howden wins the first Welsh professional Powderhall sprint at Taff Vale Park Pontypridd.

1906    Wales stages the International Cross Country Championships for the first time at the now defunct Caerleon Racecourse.

1906    Wallis Walters is the first Welsh athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. He takes part in the 110m hurdles at the intercalated (interim) Games in Athens.

1907    First full amateur Welsh Track and Field Championships held in Newport.

1909    Frederick Charles “Tenby” Davies wins the world professional 880 yards championship at Taff Vale Park, Pontypridd.

1911    Caerleon Racecourse holds the International Cross Country Championships for the second time.

1912    David Jacobs becomes the first Welsh athlete to win an Olympic gold medal when he is part of Britain’s 4 x 100m winning team in Stockholm.        

1914    Welsh amateur athletics championships held at the “old” Cardiff Arms Park for the first of four occasions, indicating the importance of amateur athletics at the time. This is the site of the current Principality Stadium.

1920    Welshmen Cecil Griffiths and John Ainsworth-Davis win Olympic gold medals as part of Britain’s 4 x 400m team in Antwerp.

1921    The International Cross Country Championships are held again at Caerleon Racecourse.

1927    The International Cross Country Championships returns to Caerleon Racecourse.

1929    First Welsh track and field representative match - against Achilles at St. Helens, Swansea.

1930    Pembroke Dock born Reg Thomas wins Wales’ first ever individual gold medal at a major athletics championship - the inaugural Empire (now Commonwealth) Games in Hamilton, Ontario. Thomas ran for England as Wales did not send an athletics team. He also takes silver in the half mile. Hawarden-born Howard Ford took the silver in the pole vault also competing for England.

1933    The International Cross Country Championships are held again at Caerleon Racecourse.

1933    The “News of the World” road relay from Newport to Swansea held for the first time with Cwmbran Harriers winning from Cardiff’s Roath Harriers. 18 Welsh teams covering eleven stages took part.

1934    First Welsh marathon championships held on a course from Pyle to Swansea.

1934    Swansea’s Cyril Cupid runs 9.8 in Newport - the first Welshman to run under 10.0 for the 100 yards.

1934    First Welsh athletics team at the Empire (now Commonwealth) Games at London’s White City.

1937    Swansea-born Franz “Pat” Dengis wins the Pan-American Games marathon for his adopted country of USA.

1938    Dengis runs the fastest marathon in the world when winning in Massachusetts in 2:30:27.6.

1938    Jim Alford of Cardiff’s Roath Harriers emulates Reg Thomas and wins the Empire Games gold for the mile in Sydney. Alford also finishes fourth in the half mile.

1938    Sam Palmer becomes the first Welsh athlete to win an individual medal in the International Cross Country Championships when he finishes third in Belfast. This is the highest position by a Welshman in the event until John Merriman’s third place in 1960 also equalled by Steve Jones in 1984.

1939    Cardiff’s Ely Racecourse is the scene for the International Cross Country Championships.

1938    Roath Harriers win the Newport to Swansea road relay for a third successive year in what turned out to be the last time the event is held as it became a casualty of World War 2.

1946    Welsh Secondary Schools AAA formed.

1947    First Welsh Schools Track and Field Championships held at Taff Vale Park, Pontypridd.

1948    Welsh AAA formed and becomes the first body to govern the sport of track & field athletics throughout Wales. Prior to this the various regions and counties of Wales were controlled by the areas of the AAA (of England).

1948    Carmarthen and District Harriers formed.

1948    Empire Games mile champion Jim Alford appointed first Welsh National Coach.

1948    First England v Wales track and field competition at Abertillery. England won by 31 pts to 11 in a limited events match.

1948    Tom Richards wins the marathon silver medal in the Olympics at Wembley – Wales’ first individual Olympics athletics medal. Ken Jones also takes a silver medal in Britain’s 4 x 100m relay team.

1951    The International Cross Country Championships return to Caerleon Racecourse for the last time.

1951    Wales’ first purpose-built athletics facility - Maindy Stadium, Cardiff opens and becomes the home of Welsh athletics.

1951    Welsh Women’s AAA formed.

1952    First Welsh Women’s championships held. Only 8 senior events held and just 3 for juniors.

1952    Birchgrove (Cardiff) Harriers formed. Merged with Roath (Cardiff) Harriers in 1968 to form Cardiff AAC.

1954    Wales take two bronze medals at the Vancouver British Empire and Commonwealth Games with Bob Shaw in the 440 yards hurdles and Ken Jones in the 220 yards.

1954    First full track and field international held with a match against Ireland at Maindy Stadium won by the home team by 94 pts to 87.

1954    Wrexham AAC formed.

1955    Aberystwyth AC formed.

1955    First North Wales Track and Field championships held at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay.

1955    Cardiff University gets new cinder track and associated athletics facilities at Llanrumney.

1958    Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields is the venue for the International Cross Country Championships, won by England’s Stan Eldon. John Merriman is the first Welshman home in 7th.

1958    The North Wales Cross Country League – Wales’ first cross country league – formed.

1958    British Empire and Commonwealth Games held at Cardiff Arms Park with John Merriman taking the 6 miles silver medal for Wales in an epic tussle with Australia’s Dave Power. Three world records were set in the biggest athletics spectacular to come to Wales. Eleven British and Commonwealth records, nine UK all-comers’ records, sixteen UK national records and twenty six Welsh all-comers records were also set.

1958    A new track & field facility at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay opens with a match between Wales and Nigeria.

1958    Nos Galan road races in Mountain Ash inaugurated.

1959    First Welsh Games held at Maindy Stadium incorporating an international match, Wales v Pakistan. Wales won 38pts to 33.

1959    First schools track and field international match between Wales and Scotland at Colwyn Bay. This fixture led to the now well established schools international match between all four home countries.

1959    The Taff Street Dash - a 100 yard sprint along Taff Street, Pontypridd first held.

1959    New 6 lane cinder track opens at Y Pant Secondary School, Talbot Green.

1960    John Merriman confirms his status as one of Britain’s finest middle distance runners by finishing third in the International Cross Country Championships in Glasgow.

1960    Merriman further enhances his reputation as Britain’s best middle distance runner by breaking the UK record for 10,000m when finishing 8th in the Rome Olympics with 28 mins 52.89 secs.

1960    Australia’s Herb Elliott runs in the Welsh Games at Maindy only eleven days after he had devastated the world’s best middle runners when winning the Rome Olympic Games 1,500m in a new world record time.

1960    New 6 lane cinder track opened at Bargoed, with Peter Radford, fresh from his Rome Olympic 100m bronze medal one of the star athletes competing.

1961    Ron Pickering arrives in Wales as Jim Alford’s replacement as national coach.

1961    Neath Harriers formed.

1961    First Welsh Schools national cross country championships held at Newtown.

1962     Swansea Harriers formed by a group of former members of Cockett Boys’ Club.

1962    20 year old Lynn Davies narrowly misses the bronze medal in the Perth Commonwealth Games but sets a UK record of 7.72m for 4th place. The Welsh sprint relay team of David England, Ron Jones, Berwyn Jones and Nick Whitehead take bronze, whilst John Merriman also had to settle for bronze in the 6 miles.

1962    Connah’s Quay track opens and hosts the North Wales Championships.

1963    Ron and Berwyn Jones are part of the British 4 x 110 yards relay team that sets a new world record of 41.0 at London’s White City.

1963    The Pontypool & District Cross Country League formed. It was to become the Gwent League the following year.

1964    Lynn Davies wins Wales’ first and only individual Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in taking the long jump title.

1965    Cardiff City Council builds special long jump facility for the competition between Olympic Champion Lynn Davies and world record holder Ralph Boston at the Welsh Games, at Maindy Stadium. Boston’s winning jump of 8.18m still stands as the Welsh all-comers record to this day.

1965    Tony Harris becomes the first Welshman to run a mile in under 4 minutes (3:58.96), although the race is won by the 1964 Olympic bronze 1500m medallist New Zealander John Llewellyn Davies who was born to Welsh speaking parents.

1965    Birchgrove (Cardiff) Harriers win the inaugural AAA 4 x one mile relay title

1966    Lynn Davies takes the Commonwealth Games long jump title in Kingston, Jamaica and the European long jump gold medal in Budapest to become the first Welsh athlete to win gold medals at the three major athletics gatherings. Britain’s number one decathlete Clive Longe takes the silver in the decathlon in Kingston to win Wales’ first non-track medal at the Commonwealth Games.

1966    Future double Olympic Champion Kip Keino wins the Morley Mile at The Welsh Games. He lowered Herb Elliott’s Welsh all-comers’ record, set in the 1958 Empire Games to 3mins 57.6.

1966    Peter Lay succeeds Ron Pickering as Welsh National Coach.

1967    The International Cross Country Championships are held in Barry with a women’s event held for the first time.

1967    Welsh Women’s Cross Country Association formed.

1967    Lynn Hughes of Bridgend clocks 3 hrs 58mins 53.2 secs. to set a new world record for the 40 miles track race at Maindy Stadium.

1968    Lynn Davies long jumps 8.23m in Berne to set a UK record which was to stand for 19 years and remains the Welsh record 48 years later in 2016.

1968    Brecon AC formed.

1968    Cardiff AAC formed by a merger between Roath (Cardiff) Harriers and Birchgrove (Cardiff) Harriers.

1969    British League (initially called National League) commences with Cardiff AAC competing in the top division. They narrowly finished second to Birmingham’s Birchfield Harriers after a tremendous tussle with the Midlanders in the third and final match of the season at Cardiff’s Maindy Stadium.

1969    Pilot Welsh Track and Field League is held.

1969    Welsh Women’s AAA hold their first full match against the Midland Counties in Swansea.

1969    Welsh track and field championships go metric - and move to Cwmbran after 18 years at Maindy.

1970    First Welsh indoor championships held at RAF St. Athan.

1970    Lynn Davies retains his Commonwealth long jump title in Edinburgh.

1970    The Cardiff AAC team of John Ingram, Graham Spencer, Bob Maplestone and Bernard Hayward win the 4 x 1,500m in 15:34.6 at the Bracknell Relays to set a new UK clubs record.

1971    Swansea Harriers take part in the British Athletics League for the first time competing in division 4.

1972    Cardiff’s Bob Maplestone becomes the first British athlete to run a mile indoors under 4 minutes when he clocks 3:59.5secs in San Diego.

1972    Lynn Davies retires after winning five gold medals at major international athletics championships.

1972    Malcolm Thomas wins the (English) National Cross Country title in a blizzard in Sutton Coldfield.

1972    Wales compete in the first Schools’ Cross Country International in Scotland. This race is the forerunner of the SIAB Cross Country International.

1973    Wales celebrate their first overseas senior track and field international with a win against Portugal in Lisbon.

1974    Welsh men’s and women’s cross country associations merge to become the first of the home countries to have a joint men’s and women’s governing body.

1974    John Davies and Berwyn Price take silver medals in the Auckland Commonwealth Games. Davies breaks the UK record in the 3,000m steeplechase to win his medal, whilst Price’s comes in the 110m hurdles. Ruth Martin-Jones becomes the first Welsh woman to win a medal at a major Games by taking the long jump bronze.

1974    Malcolm Arnold appointed Welsh National Coach.

1974    Cardiff AAC win their third successive British Athletics League title, also winning the inaugural League Cup competition.

1974    Cardiff AAC take the AAA marathon team title, ahead of the Japanese national team.

1974    New all-weather surface at Cwmbran in use as Wales take on Canada.

1974    Deeside Amateur Athletic Club formed.

1975    Maesteg-born Tony Simmons wins the (English) National Cross Country title.

1975    Cardiff AAC become the first British club to compete in the European Clubs Track & Field Championships, finishing fifth in Liege, Belgium.

1976    Chepstow Racecourse hosts the International (now World) Cross Country Championships - the last time the event is held in Wales. Welshman Tony Simmons finishes second for England.

1976    Abergele Harriers formed.

1976    Colwyn Bay AC formed, although there may have been an earlier club of that name.

1977    Cwmbran Stadium cements its status as one of Britain’s top venues by hosting the first ever UK Championships. Unlike the AAA Championships, the UK Championships were for UK qualified athletes only. Berwyn Price was the only Welsh winner in a meeting which yielded a host of Welsh all-comers records, including future Olympic 800m champion Steve Ovett in the 1500 with 3:37.5 secs.

1978    Berwyn Price wins Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles gold medal in Edmonton, Canada.

1978    Tony Simmons sets a new world record for the half-marathon with 62 mins 47 secs.

1979    Cwmbran stages the women’s European Cup semi final.

1979    Barry Harriers become Barry & Vale Harriers.

1980    Morfa Stadium initially known as City of Swansea Athletics Stadium opens.

1980    Athletics history is made at Cwmbran Stadium during the Wales v England v Hungary and Netherlands match as javelin world record holder Ferenc Paragi of Hungary sets a new UK all-comers record of 96.20m – the second furthest ever thrown - to prompt the IAAF to introduce a new javelin specification to reduce distances for safety reasons. Geoff Capes also sets a new Commonwealth and UK record of 21.68m – a record which lasted for almost a quarter of a century until beaten by Carl Myerscough in 2003.

1980    Michelle Probert becomes the first Welsh woman to win an Olympic medal – a 4 x 400m bronze in Moscow.

1980    Amman Valley Harriers formed.

1981    Les Croupiers Running Club formed.

1982    Kirsty McDermott (later Wade) wins her first Commonwealth title at 800m in Brisbane – the first Welshwoman to win a Commonwealth gold medal.

1982    Steve Barry wins the Commonwealth Games 30k walk in Brisbane and is crowned BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year. Michelle Scutt takes silver in the 400m in Brisbane.

1982    Snowdonia marathon held for the first time

1982    Cwmbran stages the UK Championships again after an absence of five years.

1982    Cardiff’s Pegasus Running Club formed

1983    Bridgend AC formed out of members of Bridgend YMCA AC.

1983    The Welsh Castles Relay - from Caernarfon to Cardiff - organised by Les Croupiers Running Club is held for the first time after a pilot race in 1982. The race covers 20 stages and 210 miles over 2 days. The event is largest of its kind in the world.

1983    The Cardiff AAC team of Sue and Angela Tooby and Kim Lock win the (English) women’s road relay title.

1983    Steve Jones finishes third in the European Clubs’ Cross Country Championships in Lyon behind future world record holders Fernando Mamede (10,000m) and Carlos Lopes (marathon) and leads Newport Harriers to fourth place in the team championship

1984    Cwmbran stages the UK Championships and Olympic Trials for 10,000m, decathlon & heptathlon.

1984    Gareth Brown becomes the first Welshman to run a sub 4 minute mile on Welsh soil at the Welsh Games at The Morfa Stadium Swansea.

1984    Angela Tooby wins the race and leads Cardiff AAC to victory in the European Clubs’ Cross Country Championships in Italy.

1984    Steve Jones finishes third in the World Cross Country Championships in New York.

1984    Steve Jones sets a new world record for the marathon in Chicago with 2:08.05.

1984    Shaun Pickering sets a new Welsh hammer record of 68.64m which still stands.

1984    Venissa Head sets a new UK indoor record for the shot with 19.06m at St. Athan which is superior to Meg Ritchie’s outdoor best of 18.99m.

1985    Angela Tooby wins the (English) National women’s cross country title.

1985    Steve Jones wins in Chicago again with a new UK record of 2:07.13 – just one second outside the world record set earlier in the year by Carlos Lopes. Jones’ time still stands as the UK record in 2015.

1985    Steve Jones confirms his status as one of the world’s leading distance runner by setting a new world record for the half-marathon with 61 mins 14 secs in Birmingham.

1985  Angela Tooby retains her title in the European Clubs’ Cross Country Championships in Madrid leading Cardiff AAC to the bronze medals.

1986    Angela Tooby wins the European Clubs cross country title for the third successive year with twin sister Sue third to help Cardiff AAC to fourth place in the team championship.

1986    Kirsty Wade wins the televised IAC cross country race in the grounds of Cardiff Castle and leads Wales to a team win in the home countries international.

1986    Cwmbran stages the UK Championships for the fourth and final time, with 19 year-old Colin Jackson taking his first UK title in a championships best of 13.73 secs.

1986    Colin Jackson gives clear indication of his potential by winning the 110m hurdles at the inaugural World Junior Championships in Greece.

1986    Wales has its most successful Commonwealth Games taking a total of eight medals in Edinburgh. Kirsty Wade takes both the 800 and 1,500m titles to become the first athlete to win the double in the same games and the first Welsh athlete to take two titles at a single major Games. Silver medals come from Colin Jackson (110m hurdles), Roger Hackney (3,000m steeplechase) and Venissa Head (discus). Bronze medals come from Steve Jones (10,000m), Angela Tooby (10,000m) and the women’s sprint relay team of Helen Miles, Sian Morris, Sallyanne Short and Carmen Smart.

1986    Steve Jones wins a record 9th Welsh senior cross country title – a record which still stands in 2015.

1986    New synthetic track at Queensway International Stadium, Wrexham (the first in North Wales) opens.

1986    Barry 40 mile track race first held (the longest running ultra-race in the UK).

1986    Cardiff’s San Domenico Running Club formed

1987    Angela Tooby wins the home countries cross country title, again held in the grounds of Cardiff Castle, with sister Sue third. The Welsh women’s team retain the team title. There was a treat for Welsh fans as multi-world cross country champion and future Olympic 5,000m champion John Ngugi finishes fourth behind team-mate and world 10,000m champion Paul Kipkoech.

1987    Wales’ last appearance as a separate team in the World Cross Country Championships in Warsaw. Subsequently the home nations compete as a single British team.

1987    Full time office established by Welsh AAA at Morfa Stadium, Swansea.

1988    Brenda Currie becomes Wales’ first professional athletics administrator based at Morfa Stadium.

1988    Penarth & Dinas runners formed.

1988    Swansea Harriers become the first Welsh club to win the AAA 6 stage road relay.

1988    Angela Tooby wins the first ever trial to select the British team for the world championships – effectively the British cross country championships with sister Sue third 21 sec ahead of 4th placed Zola Budd

1988    Angela Tooby finishes second to Norway’s Ingrid Kristiansen in the World Cross Country Championships in New Zealand – the highest position ever achieved by a Welsh athlete in these championships. This is the first time that a single British team has taken part in the event. Previously all four home countries took part as separate teams.

1988    Angela Tooby wins a remarkable fifth successive European Clubs cross country title in Cardiff’s Castle grounds with twin sister Sue second. Kim Lock finished 11th  to help Cardiff to second in the team race, but lost the team crown to holders Portugal’s Sporting Club de Braga by virtue of the position of the third scorer.

1988    Venissa Head wins her 25th Welsh title by taking the shot and discus double for the 10th successive year. This achievement still stands at the end of the 2013 track season as the record number of Welsh senior title wins.

1989    Cardiff’s new athletics stadium at Leckwith opens.

1989    Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay track upgraded to an 8 lane all weather synthetic surface.

1989    Swansea Harriers are back in the British Athletics League after dropping out in 1980.

1990    Athletics Association of Wales (AAW) formed covering all athletics associations in Wales – the first of the home nations to have a single body covering all athletics disciplines.

1990    Wales take two golds at the Auckland Commonwealth Games with Colin Jackson and Kay Morley taking the men’s and women’s sprint hurdles titles. Ian Hamer (5,000m) and Paul Edwards (Shot) take bronze.1990

1990    Colin Jackson wins the European 110m hurdles title.

1990    Leckwith Stadium hosts the UK Championships, with five Welsh winners: Neil Horsfield (1500m); Kay Morley (100m hurdles); Sally-Anne Short (100m); Paul Edwards (shot) and Colin Jackson with a new UK all-comers record of 13.10 secs. Cardiff club mate Nigel Walker was third.

1991    Swansea Harriers win the AAA 6 stage road relay for the second time.

1991    The UK Championships return to Leckwith, with Auckland Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ian Hamer (Swansea Harriers) taking the 5,000m. Paul Edwards retains his shot title.

1993    Colin Jackson sets a new world record of 12.91 for the 110m hurdles and becomes world champion in Stuttgart. He retained sole ownership of the record until Xiang Liu of China equalled it in 2004.

1994    Colin Jackson sets a new world record of 7.30 secs for the indoor 60m hurdles in Sindelfingen, Germany.

1994    Swansea Harriers win the AAA 12 stage road relay, the first Welsh club to achieve this feat.

1994    At the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, Neil Winter takes the pole vault and Colin Jackson retains his 110m hurdles title. Paul Gray takes third behind Jackson to give Wales two athletics medals in the same event for the first time.

1994    Colin Jackson completes a unique double in taking both the 60m flat and 60m hurdles at the European indoor championships in Paris.

1994    Colin Jackson takes his second European 110m hurdles title in Helsinki.

1994    Malcolm Arnold is appointed UK Director of Coaching after 20 years as Welsh National Coach and is replaced by Phil Banning.

1995    Fell and Mountain Running in Wales become part of AAW.

1997    Newport Harriers stage the women’s European Clubs Cross Country Championships in Tredegar Park, with 21 nations competing.

1998    Christian Malcolm wins world junior 100 and 200m titles in Annecy, France.

1998    Iwan Thomas wins both European and Commonwealth 400m titles; and Thomas and Jamie Baulch take gold medals as part of Britain’s 4 x 400m team European title winning team.

1998    Christian Malcolm wins silver in the 200m at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, whilst bronze medals are won by Shaun Pickering (shot) and the men’s 4 x 400m team of Paul Grey, Jamie Baulch, Doug Turner and Iwan Thomas.

1998    Deeside College Stadium Connah’s Quay all - weather track opens.

1998    Colin Jackson takes his third successive European 110m hurdles title in Budapest.

1998    Shaun Pickering wins the Welsh shot title to record his 19th Welsh title win in the three “heavy” events – a record which still stands at the end of the 2015track season.

1999    Colin Jackson wins his second World 110m hurdles title in Seville and also takes the world indoor 60m hurdles crown in Japan.

1999    Jamie Baulch wins world indoor 400m title in Japan.

1999    Cardiff AAC win the ERRA (formerly AAA) 6 stage road relay title, emulating Swansea Harriers who won in 1988 and 1991

2000    Bridgend-born Jon Brown misses the Olympic marathon bronze medal in Sydney by just seven seconds. After winning the Welsh boys cross country title in 1986 he didn’t appear in another Welsh championship preferring to take-up his English residential qualification.

2000    AAW moves offices to Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

2000    National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) at University Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) established.

2002    Colin Jackson competes in his fourth Olympic Games in Sydney – a record for a Welsh athlete.

2002    Colin Jackson retires after dominating world sprint hurdling for 10 years winning a phenomenal 12 senior gold medals at major international athletics championships. He retires still holding the world records for 110m hurdles (12.91) and 60m hurdles indoors (7.30). The latter still standing at the end of 2015.

2002    Wales take four silver medals to the Manchester Commonwealth Games – Colin Jackson (110m hurdles), Matt Elias (400m hurdles), Hayley Tullett (1,500m) and the men’s 4 x 400m team of Tim Benjamin, Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch, and Matt Elias.

2003    Cardiff half marathon held for the first time.

2004    The Swansea indoor athletics facility opens.

2004    Jon Brown again finishes fourth in the Olympic marathon in Athens.

2005    North Wales Indoor Athletic Centre at Deeside College opened.

2006    Julie Crane takes the high jump silver medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games with Hayley Tullett taking 1500 bronze.

2006    Swansea’s new outdoor track & field facility opens at Sketty Lane.

2006    Cardiff’s Rhys Williams tops the British 400m hurdles rankings and takes a 4 x 400m relay silver medal in the Gothenburg European Championships as part of the UK team.

2007    Swansea’s Dai Greene emulates his Welsh colleague Rhys Williams by topping the British 400m hurdles rankings.

2007    Cath Dugdale wins a record 8th consecutive Welsh cross country title.

2007    Welsh Athletics Ltd becomes the governing body of the sport of athletics in Wales and takes offices in Leckwith Stadium. Matt Newman is appointed its first full time Chief Executive Officer.

2007    Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain's most successful Paralympian, retires after winning 16 medals as a wheelchair racer from five Paralympics, including 11 golds, as well as winning six London Marathons.

2007    Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame inaugurated with Lynn Davies, Colin Jackson, Steve Jones, John Disley and Tanni Grey-Thompson the first inductees.

2008    The new Cardiff International Sports Stadium opens across the road from the old stadium in Leckwith and becomes the new headquarters of Welsh Athletics Ltd.

2008    Kirsty Wade, Iwan Thomas and Berwyn Price are the second wave of inductees into the Hall of Fame.

2009    Jamie Baulch and Iwan Thomas retrospectively awarded the gold medals as part of Britain’s 4 x 400m team after a member of the winning USA team in the 1997 Athens world championships is disqualified for a drug offence.

2009    Ron Jones, Shaun Pickering, Jamie Baulch and Hayley Tullett are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

2009    John Dagata is appointed as Head of Coaching.

2009    Dai Greene and Rhys Williams head the British rankings for 400m hurdles.

2010    Swansea Harrier Dai Greene clinches the 400m hurdles gold in the Barcelona European Championships, while Cardiff's Rhys Williams completes a historical 1-2 for Wales.

2010    Dai Greene takes the Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medal for Wales in Delhi, with Rhys Williams third. Silver medals come from Carys Parry (hammer) and Jenny McLaughlin (100m T37), whilst Christian Malcolm takes bronze in the 200m.

2010    Dai Greene and Rhys Williams again head the British rankings for 400m hurdles.

2010    Steve Barry, Venissa Head and Kay Morley are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

2011    Dai Greene is crowned world 400m hurdles champion with a brilliant run in Daegu to become only the second Welsh athlete to take a world title in the standard track and field events.

2011    The second Commonwealth Mountain and Ultradistance Championships are held in North Wales with a number of outstanding performances coming from Welsh athletes. Wales dominated the Trail race held on Anglesey with Richie Gardener leading an historic 1-2-3 for Wales. Andrew Davies took silver with Nat Lane third and Wales taking the team race. Wales’ other winner was John Pares who took gold in the men’s 24 hour race in Llandudno.

2012    Rhys Williams wins the European 400m hurdles title in Helsinki to complete a full set of medals having won bronze in Gothenburg in 2006 and silver in Barcelona in 2010.

2012    Tim Benjamin, Roger Hackney, Michelle Scutt and Cecil Griffiths are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Griffiths, the 1920 Olympic gold medallist in the 4 x 400m becomes the first to be inducted on a posthumous basis.

2012    Scott Simpson is appointed National Performance Coach replacing John Dagata.

2012    Lynette Harries stands down as Chair of the board of Welsh Athletics after holding similar positions with the previous governing bodies going back over 30 years. She is replaced by Carol Anthony.

2013    Dai Greene and Rhys Williams again head the British rankings for 400m hurdles.

2013    Cardiff’s Lloyds Bank half marathon underlines its position as one of the leading events in Great Britain by incorporating the UK Championships.

2013    Llanrwst hosts the 2013 IAU World Trail Running Championships.

2013    North Wales’ Charlie Hulson takes a bronze medal as part of Britain’s senior men’s team in the European cross country championships in Belgrade.

2014    Sally Peake is the only Welsh medallist at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as she takes silver in the pole vault.

2014    Christian Malcolm retires after a glittering career in which he competed in four Olympic Games to equal the record for a Welsh athlete held by Coin Jackson. He took seven individual medals at major athletics championships including winning both the 100 and 200 metres at the world junior championships in 1998.

2014    Steeplechase John Davies, Bob Shaw, Angela Tooby-Smith, Neil Winter and Ken Jones (posthumously) are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

2014    Neath’s Martin Rees running for Cardiff’s Les Croupiers, takes another masters world record for the half-marathon clocking 74mins 15 secs for a 61 year old. He now holds 42 records for ages between 45 and 61 from 5k to half-marathon.

2015    Bettws-y-Coed hosts both the World Masters Mountain Running Championships and World Mountain Running Championships

2015    Swansea Harriers became the first non-English club to win the ERRA women’s 4 stage relay title, with Elinor Kirk, Kate Roberts, Caryl Jones and the remarkable 44 year old Andrea Whitcombe.

2015    The Lloyds Bank Cardiff Half Marathon adds to its status in UK distance running circles by again hosting the UK Championships and the British team trial for the 2016 IAAF/Cardiff University sponsored World Half Marathon Championship.

2015    Charlie Hulson wins the (English) National cross country title to become the fifth Welshman to win this prestigious race.

2015    Swansea’s Dewi Griffiths is third Briton home in the European cross country championships in Hyeres to take a bronze medal as part of Britain’s senior men’s team.

2016     Wales’ top middle-distance runner Dewi Griffiths wins the Welsh cross country title for the fifth successive time to equal the record of consecutive wins set by Steve Jones. He now needs to win another five titles to exceed the record number of nine wins set by the former world marathon record holder between 1977 and 1986. Carmarthen-born Swansea Harrier Griffiths confirmed again that he is one of Britain’s best cross country runners. Apart from his Welsh title success there were wins in the UK inter-counties championship and membership of Britain’s winning team at the European cross country championships in Sardinia, although he was outside the scoring four in 18th place. Georgina Outten, was also a member of Britain’s winning under 23 team in Sardinia but finished outside the scoring four in 42nd.

2016   Menai’s Cari Hughes had a fine run to win the women’s under 17 race at the UK inter-counties championship.

2016   The IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships - the most important athletics event to come to Wales since the 1958 Empire Games took place in Cardiff in March. Despite falling at the start, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor retained the title he won when the event was last held in 2014 in Copenhagen. Britain’s double Olympic champion at 5,000m and 10,000m Mo Farah was third. Another Kenyan, Peres Jechirchir led a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the women’s event. Altogether 16,000 athletes took part in the event which included an open race. The last time an IAAF organised event was held in Wales was the IAAF world cross country championships in Chepstow in 1976. All-in-all an extremely well organised event which did much for the prestige of organisers, Run 4 Wales.

2016  2014 Commonwealth Games pole vault silver medallist Sally Peake equals her outdoor Welsh record of 4m 40 in the USA, and wins her third UK outdoor title. 

2016   Seren Bundy-Davies is Wales’ only representative at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games going out in the heats of the 400. It’s the first time since 1936 that Wales is not represented in the men’s events, although Rhys Williams and David Omoregie were extremely unlucky not to be selected. Earlier in the year Seren anchored the GB women’s 4x400m relay team to the European title in Amsterdam.

2016   In the Rio Paralympics, Aled Davies took gold in the F42 shot with a world record 15.97m to add to the gold medal he won in the discus in the London Games in 2012. Aled had an impressive year where he took gold medals in the F42 shot and discus in the IPC European championships – the latter in a new world record of 54.14m. Also in Rio, Hollie Arnold (F46 javelin) threw a world record 43.01m to claim the gold medal, and Sabrina Fortune (F20 shot put) set an F20 shot put personal best of 12.94m to secure bronze.

2016   Cardiff AAC, the 1999 winners, take the ERRA (formerly AAA) 6 stage road relay title with Swansea Harriers, winners in 1988 and 1991 third. Cardiff’s women were also in the medals taking bronze.

2016   Christian Malcolm, the 1998 world junior 100 and 200m champion, Ruth Swinhoe, who as Ruth Martin-Jones became the first Welsh female athlete to win a medal at a major Games (long jump Christchurch 1974) and 1948 Olympic marathon silver medallist Tom Richards (posthumously) are added to the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame.

2016   Wales’ oldest surviving Olympic medallist, John Disley CBE, the 1952 Olympic 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist dies at the age of 87. His sphere of influence in athletics generally, orienteering and mountain climbing was immense. Amongst his many achievements was co-founding the London marathon with Chris Brasher.

2016   Bethan Davies underlined her standing as Britain’s outstanding race walker when recording the second fastest time ever by a British athlete over 20k in Leeds with 93 mins 48 secs. She also won both the British indoor and outdoor tiles at 3kw and 5kw respectively. It was a Welsh 1-2 at the top of the British 20k rankings as Heather Lewis of Pembrokeshire Harriers took second spot with 98 mins 22 secs.

2016   17 year old Llanishen High School pupil Jake Heyward wins the European Youth 1500 title in Tbilisi, Georgia. He also retained his Welsh senior 800m title. Last year as a 16 year-old he became the youngest men’s Welsh senior champion. He was also named the Carwyn James Young Sportsman of the Year.

2016   Swansea’s 18 year-old Hannah Brier equals the Welsh 100m record of 11.39 secs held by Sallyanne Short (1992) and Elaine O’Neill (2010). Hannah also retained her Welsh senior 100 title and should get close in the years ahead to the record number of wins in this event (7) by Liz Parsons (Johns) who won her first title as a 15 year old in 1960.

2016   Andrew Davies and Mike Kallenberg finish 5th and 6th in the IAU 50k World Championships in Doha to help Britain to the silver medals in the team race.

2016   At the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country competition in Glasgow Swansea’s Don Naylor took the M45 age category race. 

2016   Eryri’s Bronwen Jenkinson wins the bronze medal at the World Mountain Championships (uphill) in Bulgaria.

2016   Dan Weston of Wrexham becomes Wales’ first ever male silver medallist in the annual 100 km Anglo Celtic Plate in Perth beating his Welsh record time for the event with 7hrs 11mins 47secs.

2017   Bernard Baldwin, one of the great innovators in British athletics dies at the age of 91. He founded the world famous Nos Galan road races in Mountain Ash in 1958 and organised numerous road running and multi-track events. He was the first person to bring international athletics to the roads of Britain. Amongst his many official roles was secretary of the Welsh AAA and Road Runners Club (Wales).

2017   Dewi Griffiths wins his 6th consecutive Welsh cross country title to better the record he shared with Steve Jones.

2017   Former Welsh mile record holder with 4:04.4 Tony Pumfrey dies aged 85.

2017   Swansea Harriers take the prestigious ERRA national 12 stage road relay title for the second time with their women’s team finishing second.

2017   Josh Griffiths takes the British marathon title with 2:14.49 at the London marathon in his debut at the event.

2017   Double Olympian Philippa Roles dies at the early age of 39.

2017   Welsh Athletics life member John Collins, an icon of the sport in Wales dies aged 79. Amongst his numerous contributions to the sport was as one of the founders of the Gwent cross country league - Britain’s largest cross-country league. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Welsh athletics league and one of the authors of The History of Welsh Athletics. An outstanding athlete in his own right he was competing in veteran’s events well into his 70’s. He was the Welsh 6 miles cross country champion in 1963 finishing third in the following 2 years.

2017   The 100th Welsh senior track and field championships are held in Cardiff with over 100 former champions taking part in a parade along the home straight. The parade included Wales’ only individual Olympic champion Lynn Davies, former marathon world record holder Steve Jones and Venissa Head winner of a record 25 titles.

2017   Bethan Davies breaks her own 20k walk Welsh record with 1:33.04 in the British walks trials in Leeds.

2017   The 2012 European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams announces his retirement. Uniquely he won European titles at four age groups including his 2012 win in Helsinki. Another exceptional achievement is that he won a full set of European senior medals, winning the silver in Barcelona in 2010 and the bronze in Gothenburg in 2006 where he also won silver as part of Britain’s 4 x 400m relay team. He also took the Commonwealth bronze in Delhi in 2010. His best time of 48.84 secs was set in 2013 and is second on the Welsh all-time list behind the 2011 world champion Dai Greene

2017   Bethan Davies breaks the UK record and takes the gold medal in the 5k walk in 21:21.52 at the British championships in Birmingham. Rebecca Chapman betters one of the longest-standing Welsh records when she long jumps 6.54m to beat Gill Regan’s 35 year-old record by just 2 cms to take the silver medal.

2017   Osian Jones betters Shaun Pickering’s 33 year-old Welsh hammer record throwing 69.20m in Belfast before increasing the record to 70.00m in Portugal.

2017   Sarah Omoregie threw 16.74m to set a new UK under 18 shot record, and James Tomlinson threw 60.11m in the discus to gain silver medals in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.

2017   Swansea Harriers and Cardiff AAC confirmed their status as two of the top track and field clubs in Britain by gaining promotion to the 8 team British Athletics League Premiership. The   1972, 1973 and 1974 league champions Cardiff took the division one title to return to the Premiership, whilst Swansea finished as runners-up to seal their promotion to the top tier of British club athletics for the first time. By entering the top flight of men’s club track and field in the UK, Swansea can arguably claim to be the top club in Britain as their women’s track and field team are already in the top flight. In fact, they are one of only three club teams in Britain to have both men’s and women’s teams in the top divisions of the UK leagues. Additionally, their men’s and women’s road relay teams are the holders of the prestigious ERRA (effectively UK) men’s 6 and 12 stage road relay titles.

2017   There were medals galore for Welsh athletes at the World Para Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London. Hollie Arnold broke her championships best twice before breaking her own world record with 43.02m to take the gold and retain her title in the F46 javelin event. Double world record holder Aled Davies broke his own world record to take the F42 shot event with 17.52m and he also took the F42 discus title for the third time with 51.54m setting a championships best. Olivia Breen long jumped 4.81 to take the T38 title; Kyron Duke put in a fine performance of 12.28m to take the silver medal in the F41 shot event and Jordan Howe excelled to take the T35 100m silver with 12.52 secs.

2017    Five Welsh athletes represented Great Britain at the World Athletics Championships. Bethan Davies (20km Race Walk) Ieuan Thomas (steeplechase), David Omoregie (110m Hurdles), Josh Griffiths (Marathon) and Andrew Davies (Marathon) all chosen to represent Great Britain at a Home World Championships.

2017    Eleven Welsh officials were selected for the World Championships and World Para Championships. Amongst them, Dave Jessett acted as Competition Director for the World Championships, the highest officials role possible within the Sport in the UK.

2017    Jake Heyward wins the European Junior 1,500m title in Italy to add to the Youth title he won last year whilst Hannah Brier wins a bronze medal as part of Britain’s women’s 4 x 100m team.

2017    Bronwen Jenkinson becomes the youngest British Fell Racing champion and also retains her under 23 title.

2017    Edith Chelimo of Kenya sets a new UK all-comers record in winning the Cardiff University/Cardiff half marathon. She clocked 65:52 to better fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany’s record. Dewi Griffiths is the first UK athlete to finish with 61:33 in fourth place. Almost 20,000 runners took part to make the event one of the largest fields ever assembled for a half marathon in the UK.

2017    Swansea Harriers add to their reputation as Britain’s finest middle distance team when taking the ERRA National 6 stage road relay for the 3rd time with their team of Jonathan Tobin, Marc Hobbs, Jon Hopkins, Jack Gooch, Josh Griffiths and Dewi Griffiths. Swansea’s women’s squad of Cari Hughes, Sian Edwards, evergreen Andrea Whitcombe and Verity Ockenden followed up their win of last year with the bronze medals.

2017    Dewi Griffiths clocks 2:09.49 to become the second fastest Welshman behind former world record holder Steve Jones over the marathon distance in Frankfurt.

2017     Tom Marshall and Melissa Courtney win gold medals as part of Britain’s winning team in the inaugural mixed relay event at the European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, whilst Cari Hughes wins a team gold medal in the women’s under 20 event. Despite leading in the early stages and dropping out with a hamstring injury, Dewi Griffiths collected a bronze medal as part of the British team.

2017    In the 50th successive UK merit rankings produced by the much respected statistician and broadcaster Peter Matthews for the British Athletics Annual for 2017, ten Welsh athletes feature in the top three for the year: Bethan Davies is the only Welsh athlete to be ranked number one (walks) with fellow walker Heather Lewis third. Others ranked are Dewi Griffiths (3rd in 10,000m, half marathon, and marathon); Ieuan Thomas (3rd 3,000m steeplechase); David Omoregie (2nd 110m hurdles); Gareth Winter (3rd shot); Brett Morse (3rd discus); Ben Gregory (2nd decathlon); Sally Peake (3rd pole vault); and Carys Parry (3rd Hammer).

*Updated March 2018 

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