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Weekend Round-Up [25-27 May]

Aled Davies throwing a shot put at Run with the Wind 2023

28/05/2024 00:00, In Blog /


Aled Davies (Cardiff Athletics) a secured a remarkable sixth consecutive F63 shot put title in Japan on Friday. The legendary thrower’s latest victory makes it an incredible 10 gold medals in total at the World Championships. The win in Kobe is even more impressive considering the Ryan Spencer-Jones-coached athlete has been managing a long-term injury. Davies, who celebrated his 33rd birthday the previous day, produced his longest throw of the competition in third round when he launched the shot out to 15.60m. His winning series featured two more distances over 15m which saw him claim the title by almost a metre ahead of Iran’s Faisal Sorour. A delighted Davies, who won his first world title in Lyon back in 2013, said afterwards:

“I love competing, and over the last two years with injury, I haven’t been able to do what I have wanted to do. I have only been back throwing pain free for about five weeks, so I knew I was throwing myself in the deep end here with my class being stronger than ever. I just love trying to throw as far as possible.

Davies’ attention now turns to the Paralympics in Paris in September:

“I just need two months of work.Then I’ll be ready to go after that world record. Today, we got the job done, perhaps it was pretty ugly, but it is another world title which I am delighted with. There are so many things I am going to take away which I am going to apply in Paris. I am looking forward to coming back and throwing further than ever. There is always going to be pressure. I’m a six-time world champion in this event and everyone wants to beat me. I wasn’t going to sit at home and let my world title go to someone else. Every title feels the same to me. It is crazy to think I have 10 world titles, and six consecutive shot put titles. No one has ever done that in the field. It is surreal. The main one this year is that Paralympic Games, so this sets me up quite nicely.”

On Thursday, fellow Welsh athlete Harrison Walsh (DSW Para Athletics) secured his first world medal as he moved into bronze medal position on his final throw in the F64 discus final. Walsh’s final effort of 52.48m moved him above Estonia’s Egert Joessar who had gone into third position after a fifth-round throw of 51.01m. USA’s David Blair won with a throw of 60.13m with Croatia’s Ivan Katanusic second with 53.89m. Afterwards, Walsh reflected: “I only really got it in the last round. I wasn’t at my best by any stretch, there is no excuse there.

“I have changed a lot after a poor performance at worlds last year, and we are all really excited at what is going to happen with that, but unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get it today. The important thing is that I got the job done. I was here to win a medal and that is what I have done. I will look back and enjoy the fact that I have won the bronze, but I just need time to process it all. That could have quite easily been fourth today, so it is important to know I can respond well. At the end of the day this is still an up, just not as much of an up as I wanted it to be.”

Davies and Walsh’s performances rounded off a hugely successful championships for the quartet of Welsh athletes in the Great Britain team, with Hollie Arnold and Sabrina Fortune having already claimed gold medals in the F46 javelin and F20 shot respectively.



JEREMIAH AZU (Cardiff Athletics) wrote himself another chapter in Welsh athletics history when he became the first Welsh sprinter to break the prestigious 10 second barrier. The brilliant performance in Germany means Azu has won the race to break the 10 second mark which had eluded Welsh Olympians such as Christian Malcolm, Colin Jackson and Ron Jones.

You can watch Jeremiah's history making performance here via European Athletics' YouTube Channel

The 23-year-old already held the Welsh 100m record, but he lowered that mark once again when he dipped under 10 seconds for the first time with 9.97 to finish ahead of home sprinters Owen Ansah (10.11) and Robin Ganter (10.13). Azu had previously run below 10 seconds in 2022 when he clocked times of 9.94 and 9.90 in winning gold at the Muller UK Athletics Championships in Manchester. Unfortunately, both performances were wind assisted. However, there were no such problems in Leverkusen on Saturday, when he stopped the clock in 9.97, having run a wind assisted 10.05 earlier in the meeting. The performance meant Azu became the first European sprinter to run under 10 seconds this season, which bodes well for next month’s European Athletics Championships in Rome.

The time also means Azu has the UK Athletics qualification standard for the Paris Olympic Games later in the summer. A top-three finish at the UK Athletics Championships, which is being held in Manchester later this month, would secure a spot at this summer’s Olympic Games. Azu said of his performance in Germany:

“I have known [that time] was there for a long time,” Azu said. “I think once you start to focus on something so much it becomes harder to achieve it. This time I thought let me just enjoy my running today and it came without thinking about it. It’s pretty exciting.”      

The Marco Airale coached sprinter now sits joint eighth on the UK all-time 100m rankings alongside Dwain Chambers and Adam Gemili.



Freya Jones (Newham and Essex Beagles) improved the Welsh javelin record for the second time in less than a week in Germany on Saturday. Jones, who has only recently become eligible to represent Wales following new grand-parentage rules, claimed a new national record when she threw 53.74m at the Loughborough International the previous weekend.On Saturday, she bettered that mark by registering 54.63 in finishing eighth at the prestigious event in Halle. Jones, who is coached by Paul Wilson, has a personal best of 55.36, which she set in 2014 while still eligible for England.



Paris Olympics hopeful Joe Brier (Swansea Harriers) clocked a season’s best 46.63 finishing fourth in his 400m race. Joe’s sister Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers), who could also challenge for GB one-lap honours this summer, clocked 23.99 finishing third over 200m and 53.09 over 400m. There were 400m PBs for Tess McHugh (Sale Harriers), who clocked 53.80 in winning her race, and Sian Harry (Belgrave Harriers) who won her heat in 54.37.



National development programme athlete Libby Hale (Swansea Athletics) won the 1500m C race in a new PB of 4:24. Ben Reynolds (Cardiff Athletics) followed up his 3,000m Loughborough International victory, by clocking a new PB of 3:45.93 finishing seventh in the 1500m A race. There was also a 1500m PB for transition athlete Osian Perrin (Menai Track and Field) who stopped the clock in 3:46.53. In the B 1500m race, there was an eighth place finish and PB of 3:46.95 for under-20 athlete Matthew Brunnock (Western Tempo). In the same race, Oliver Barbaresi (Thames Valley Harriers) finished sixth in 3:46.25. Sweden-based under-20 athlete Hannah Kinane (Swansea Harriers) won the women’s 1500 D race in 4:29.04, while under-23 athlete Erin Burt (Newquay) won the 1500 E race in 4:31.73. The men’s 5000m A race saw national development programme athlete Dafydd Jones (Swansea Harriers) claim a PB of 14:01.59 as he finished 11th.



Iolo Grant (Cardiff Archers) enjoyed a new 110m hurdles PB of 14.09, while fellow national development programme athlete Menna Grant (Cardiff Archers) clocked 14.05 in the (under-18) 100m hurdles.


Clara Evans (Pontypridd Roadents) earned an excellent fourth place finish in Manchester as she crossed the line in 32:10 in a race which was won by Gotytom Gebreslase, of Ethiopia.

Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers) finished 10th in 28:20 in the men’s race which was won by Kenya’s Vincent Ngetich.



National development programme athlete Lewis Stephens (Cardiff Athletics) claimed sprint PB double clocking 10.60 over 100m and 21.50 over 200m. Meanwhile, transition programme athlete Joseph Berry (Newport Harriers) claimed a new 100m PB of 10.66. Full results to follow.


The honours in the women’s race went to Louise Flynn (Les Croupiers) who won in a new course record time of 36:35. Emily Fell (CDF Runners) was second in 37:25 ahead of Emma Wookey (Lliswerry Runners) who finished third in 39:58.

Under-23 athlete Ben Hughes (Pontypridd Roadents) took the men’s race in 34:01. Second place went to Tadhgh Keating (Les Croupiers) in 34:04 with Andy Gardiner (San Domenico) third in 34:49.



Connor Rogers (Wrexham AAC) was the first man home at the Newtown 10K on Sunday, crossing the line in 32:29. Eric Apperley (Builth and District Running Club) was second in 32:38 with James Roberts (Wrexham AAC) third in 34:47.

There was a clean sweep for Maldwyn Harriers in the women’s race which was won by Hannah Thomas in 40:13 ahead of Maddison Griffiths in 40:31 and Melissa Turnbull, who crossed in 41:37.



A Welsh representative team travelled to Loughborough on Bank Holiday Monday to take part in the inaugural Pickering Memorial Thows International. The event has been established in memory of the Pickering family, particularly Welsh international shot, discus and hammer thrower Shaun Pickering – son of former Welsh national athletics coach and broadcaster Ron Pickering. Shaun Pickering, who passed away in May 2023, was a Commonwealth Games shot put bronze medallist for Wales and an Olympian for Great Britain, who went on to work with the Ron Pickering Foundation, established in his father’s memory. He also became a coach and advocate of the sport whose passion was to elevate the recognition and standard of throws in the UK.The Pickering Memorial Throws International featured national teams from the United Kingdom and across Europe with top quality athletes chasing qualification distances for championship teams this summer

Leading the way for the Welsh team, under-18 athlete Thomas Williams (Wrexham) claimed victory in the men’s hammer final with a best of 72.82m – just short of six metres ahead of his nearest rival. The women’s hammer competition saw Amelia Fettis (Newport Harriers) finish fifth with a best effort of 51.31m. Evie Cooper (Neath Harriers) was seventh in  44.95m, while Amelia Mitchell (Neath Harriers) was eighth with a season’s best 40.88m. In the men’s discus final, Michael Jenkins (Pembrokeshire) finished fourth with a best of 49.85m, ahead of Welsh teammate Owen Garrett (Yate and District AC) with 49.41m.  The women’s discus saw Lucy Harris (Swansea Harriers) finish sixth with a best of 42.86m.


National Masters Road Relays at Mallory Park, Leicester

Les Croupiers took a coach full of athletes and supporters to this prestigious event, but at a new venue for all. The motor racing circuit received a universal thumbs up from everyone for the slickness of the circuit and excellent spectator vantage points. 

The silver medals won by the F35 ladies was the highlight of the day, the team being Laura  Jones, Leah Stephens, Michelle Taylor and Louise Flynn. Louise, who smashed the Welsh F40 record in the London Marathon with 2:43:52, was again in sparkling form as her 17:21 was the fastest ladies time of the day. 



Dewi Hammond (Cardiff Athletics) won the 100m C final in Spain clocking a time of 10.41.


Wales v England Masters Half Marathon

International at Manchester, there were two new Welsh all time age group records, with  Tracy Jenkins (Porthcawl) and David Gibson (Tri Hard Harriers) improving their own F55 and M70  bests with 1:26:11 and 1:27:47 respectively.