Wales at the Anniversary Games

A number of Welsh athletes delivered impressive performances this weekend at the Anniversary Games in London.

Wales' men's 4 x 100m relay team finished 6th with a season's best of 39.50 at the London Stadium.

It was the fastest time for a Welsh relay team in almost 20 years with the squad finishing only 0.25 seconds outside the 2018 Commonwealth Games qualification standard. The relay team consisted of James Griffiths (Coach: Tom Meyer / Derek Stephenson), Sam Gordon (Matt Elias), Tom Williams (Tom Meyer / Derek Stephenson) and, Kristian Jones (Glyn Hawkes).

Welsh champion, Gordon, was satisfied with the team's performance;

"I'm so happy right now, we've worked so hard to try and get as close to the Commonwealth standard as possible."

“I think over the years people have forgotten about Wales so I'm happy that we're in a generation now where we're bringing Wales back up into the spotlight"

"After today we're really confident of making the Commonwealth standard."

Anax Da Silva (Darrell Maynard) and Josh Brown, who were also part of the Welsh squad, were given the opportunity to run in the International All-Stars team.  Brown, who's a Cardiff athlete, was equally proud of the team;

"It's been an amazing journey. The way we've all come together as a team from the start to the finish. We've drawn closer in every race so it's nice to see us all come together like this on a big occasion"

Guy Thomas (Martin Rush) was the next Welsh athlete to take to the track finishing 9th in the one mile race walk with a time of 6:02.  The twenty year old had to contend with a highly competitive field in the first race walk to be included in a Diamond League event. Olympian, Tom Bosworth, broke the one mile world record with a time of 5:31.08, breaking a 26 year old record. 

Thomas, who's a student at the Royal Agricultural University, says he has learnt from the experience;

"I'm pretty chuffed. It was a world class field and I'm not quite a world class athlete yet. Tom (Bosworth) broke the record and it's fantastic to see."

"It's a bit different to racing a 20km, which is what I'm used to.  It's mostly good to get the Welsh vest on and do it proud"

"It's the biggest thing I've ever competed in"

Middle distance athlete, Tom Marshall (James Thie), ran a personal best of 3:37.45 in the men's 1500m after struggling with illness since the British Championships last weekend. Marshall finished 11th, behind fellow-Brit Chris O'Hare who won the British trials last weekend.

The Powys runner says it was touch and go before the race;

"I've been ill since the Champs (British); literally I've done an 8th of the mileage I'd usually do, with no good sessions. I was worried coming into this. I thought 'that's it; my body's done’."

"I felt alright until the last 200m and then I struggled to breathe a bit and that affected me more than it normally would have, but I am delighted to get that over with."

"Ironically it's probably the first season I've never been ill up until last week. But to do that. I can't get over it. I'm over the moon."

Former junior world record holder David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist) won his heat of the men's 110m hurdles in a time of 13.43. The 21 year old struggled to reproduce that performance in the finals finishing 8th in 13.70.

Omoregie, who missed out on automatic qualification for next month's World Championships at last weekend's British trials, says he's disappointed;

"It's so frustrating because I know I can run quick times; I have been in training but the same thing happened as at the British trials. Hurdles are unforgiving and after hitting that first hurdle it's hard to come back."

"It's in the hand of selectors now for the Worlds.  I'm definitely in PB shape."

Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) was the final Welsh athlete competing in the Anniversary Games.  The 23 year old finished 8th in the women's mile in a time of 4:23.15.   European Indoor Champion, Laura Muir finished the race within half a second of the British mile record in 4:16.56 so Courtney had to deal with a quick race pace;

"I had to focus on my own rhythm given how quick the race started. I'm really happy with how I did. There was a group of a few of us who worked together. 

"I was so disappointed after the British champs. I should have raced differently so I was so disappointed for days after. But I've come away from today's race feeling so much more positive"

 

Written by Hannah Pollak

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

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