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Harriers on the road

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CARMARTHEN HARRIERS indoor and cross country athletes were out on the road in Cardiff and Newport on Saturday, February 18.

In an action packed weekend in the indoor Welsh Championship which attracted nearly 600 juniors from across Wales, 3 Harriers struck gold to be Welsh Champions and the tally was added with a further 2 bronze.

Frank Morgan had possibly the most comfortable win of the day, bettering his silver medal from last year his winning time of 4:47 gave him the 1500 metres gold by over 100 metres from his under 13 rivals. In doing so he moved top of the UK indoor rankings for his age.

Another outstanding performance was Lily Church who dominated the under 15 age group in the high jump. Jumping a big 1 metre 63 the bronze medallist from last year confirmed her position as one of the country’s best.

The teams form in the high jump then continued in sensational form with William Edwards once again passing 2 metres to win the under 20 men’s title. To round of the jumps Olivia Haines made the podium to take Bronze in a best jump of 10 metres 17.

Finally in the 1500 metres for under 17s Iestyn Williams ran a dogged race to stay in contention in a fiercely contested last lap to be rewarded with a bronze medal.

Other notable performances included under 13 athlete Sophia Reid-Thomas who in the younger year of her age group qualified for the B final finishing 3rd in a blanket finish in a very quick 9.13 seconds. Zak Daly and Tomos Rees also had good runs in the 200m heat and 3000 metres. Meanwhile in Sheffield, Glen Elsdon and Aled Price were up against the best in Britain in the UK 60m hurdles event and recorded times of 8.32 and 8.53 seconds.

The cross country runners battled the bitterly cold wind at the fourth round of the Gwent Cross Country League at a new course in Newport. In the Novice Boys which started the programme, Ifan Bowen did not disappoint as he maintained his 2nd place finish.

Iwan Thomas secured another top 10 finish and is on course for an individual medal. Jac Thomas 16th, Steffan Davies 38th and Jake Lynock in 56th competing in the same race scored valuable points for the team.

There was another top 3 placing in the Under 13 boys category, this time being Liam Edwards who kept up the pace with the leading pack and he was closely followed behind by Dafydd Jones in 6th – both will now be eying an individual prize in a few weeks.

The third scorer for the squad was Dafydd Thomas, who crossed the line in 21st position.

The Under 15 age group had five representatives – Archi Morgan was the first Harrier home in an improved 6th and supported him was Gareth Thompson in 12th and Casper Farquhar. In the girls, the ever reliable Eva Edwards and Maddie Morgan had good performances in 20th and 31st respectively.

In the older age groups, Ben Thomas continued his fine form running alongside talented English athletes in the U17s while in the seniors, Gordon Orme won his 70+ category with Gill Edwards and Lisa Forest also doing well in a large field.

The under 11 boys and under 13 boys teams are on course to win a team medal next month while the under 15 boys are also in with a good chance, currently just outside the top 3 in the standings.

The 5th and final round of the league for the first time in many years will be hosted at home by Carmarthen Harriers & West Wales, in conjunction with the County Council at Pembrey Country Park on Saturday, March 4.

The league – formed in 1963 has continued across South Wales and South West England every year since then and attracts the best cross country runners from Wales and England.

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Llanelli Bodybuilder matches Arnie’s record

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WELSHMAN James ‘Flex’ Lewis is one of Britain’s most successful sportsmen as well as one of the world’s greatest bodybuilders.

He has made history this weekend (Sept 14-17) at the Mr. Olympia event in Las Vegas (the top international event in bodybuilding).

He went into the event the reigning five times Olympia Champion in his weight category and his incredible sixth consecutive win was just announced, which matches the record of another body building legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Indeed, Flex’s career as a bodybuilder has been continually likened to Arnie’s and the win this weekend further secures his place as the world’s greatest bodybuilder.

The Mr. Olympia title is the most coveted in the world of bodybuilding and the title awarded to the winner of the professional men’s contest at the annual international bodybuilding competition (the bodybuilding ‘world cup’), held by the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness.

The event started on Thursday (September 14) in Las Vegas and the results were declared this morning. With Flex’s track record, you wouldn’t bet against another win for the Welshman next year either!

Flex Lewis originates from Llanelli in Wales and has had huge success, particularly in the States, where he is a well-known face. He is a tremendous ambassador for the sport of bodybuilding and one of Britain’s greatest athletes.

He is passionate about changing the clichéd perception of bodybuilding and for people to see it as the credible sport that it is and the athleticism it involves to participate. He’s also a real family man and not just a generic ‘muscle head’ and despite his successes, Flex remains humble, determined, focused; the same lad from the Valleys that he always was.

Flex has won over 30 national and international titles. But it is with Mr Olympia he is most synonymous. Having committed his life to what can be a very gruelling training regime and a carefully monitored diet, the victory this weekend at Olympia is extremely well deserved and cements his position as Wales’ very own Arnie!

Flex on his victory said: “I was honoured to go into the event holding the current Olympia title as the best 212 physique in the world and I am buzzing to have defended it for another year. My accomplishments are a true testament to what dedication and hard work can get you.

“If you want something bad enough and set your mind to it, it can be achieved. To equal Arnie’s record of consecutive wins at Olympia this weekend is a dream come true for me as I have always been inspired by him and he is such an icon and ambassador for bodybulding.

“I am so thrilled to have made Wales and the people of Great Britain proud.”

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Wales beaten by young Lions

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Wales: Karlin Claridge (Cardiff Blue Dragons), James Smith (West Wales Raiders), Fraser Stroud (Torfaen Tigers), Eauan Morris (Torfaen Tigers), Sean Collins (West Wales Raiders), Cobi Green (Valley Cougars), Elliot Jenkins (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Jacob Hitchcox (North Wales Crusaders), Macauley Harris (Valley Cougars), Ellis Simon (West Wales Raiders), Morgan Cross (Rhondda Outlaws), Dewi Billingham (Torfaen Tigers). Subs: Jack Morris (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Taine Hendy (Rhondda Outlaws), Nye Walker (Rhondda Outlaws), Brett Thomas (Torfaen Tigers)

Wales • 24
England Lions • 42

ENGLAND Lions under 18s ran out 42-24 winners against a Wales side who battled all the way last Saturday (Sept 16).

However the English side just had a bit too much rugby league knowledge for the Welsh and the scoreline isn’t quite reflective of how hard the Welsh team fought.

Wales took an early lead. Euan Morris scored out wide and Elliot Jenkins, who has also been named in the full Wales train-on side ahead of the World Cup, converted.

However England soon addressed the balance with a try from Will Tully converted by Cole Connolly before Eddie Wilcock went over from dummy half to give them a lead they wouldn’t give up. Connolly’s second goal made it 12-6.

Sean Collins went over in the corner for Wales’ second try which went unconverted before England score again through a Curtis Teare break finished off by Charlie Taylor with Connolly converting to make it 18-10.

England extended their lead to 24-10 when Wilcock crossed for his second try which Connolly improved but Wales hadn’t given up as Morris scored his second of the day, which went unconverted.

However, England went into half-time with a strong 30-14 lead after Liam Kenyon set up Charlie Taylor to score under the sticks. Connolly kept up his 100% first half kicking record.

Wales started their comeback 15 minutes into the second half. Brett Thomas scored out wide but again, agonisingly for Wales, it went unconverted.

They closed the gap further through a Nye Walker try that Jenkins converted and despite it being five tries each, Wales were still six points down with just ten minutes to go.

England then pulled away with two tries in the closing stages to seal the win. Will Ashworth ran 70 metres to score under the sticks and from kick-off, Wilcock grabbed his hat-trick. Connolly converted both.

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Wanderers seal T20 final win

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Carmarthen Wanderers: SWCA T20 winners 2017

WELSH PREMIER DIVISION 2 side Carmarthen Wanderers capped a superb season by winning their South Wales Cricket Association T20 cup final against Ynysygerwn by 3 wickets.

Left arm spinner Ian Hughes four overs saw him take 1-15 but it was Steve Mills who turned the game towards the Wanderers as he took three wickets in nine balls, much to the delight of the Wanderers ‘barmy army’.

The season’s star player, spinner Gareth Thomas bagged three wickets during the final overs to dismiss Ynys for 98, with wicket keeper Owain Evans claiming three dismissals.

The Wanderers attacked from the off with Steve Inward blasting 39 runs in 6 overs in conjunction with Owain Evans [24] adding 55 for the first wicket.

Going into the final over the Wanderers were 93-7 before youngster Liam Rogers clubbed a boundary to relieve the pressure before Owain Davies hit the penultimate ball to the fence, the Wanderers enjoyed one of the finest moments in their club’s history.

Having lifted the SWCA T20 trophy, Walters triumphantly stated: “Winning this trophy is an outstanding achievement as Ynys are a quality side. We bowled and fielded well and got across the line as the pressure mounted during the final overs.

“This is a fitting reward as we have remained unbeaten since May and lifting the cup means so much to everybody at the club, especially those who work so hard behind the scenes. Our large band of travelling supporters provided a great atmosphere which made the occasion such a special day.”

The man of the match awarded went to Steve Mills, who is in his first season with the Club having arrived from his home club, Pembrokeshire first division side Johnston.

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