WELSH Athletics held its annual Senior Indoor Athletics Championships on the final weekend in January (Jan 26-27) at Cardiff’s National Indoor Athletics Centre and incorporated the Combined Events Indoor International.
Teams from Great Britain, France, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic competed alongside Wales’ top senior competitors over two days in the Welsh Capital.
The Pentathlon and Heptathlon, including the 60m, 60m Hurdles, Shot, Long Jump and Pole Vault was contested for male and female over two busy days for the participants from across Europe. Picking up points was all-important in that element.
Five Carmarthen Harriers athletes entered with medals won in three disciplines.
Kieran Roberts qualified from the senior men’s 800m heats with a comfortable win and was followed by a second-place finish in the final with a time of 1:55:76. As a result, Roberts become Welsh champion with the winner having ran as a guest from England.
Speaking shortly after finishing, he said: “I haven’t raced a lot in the last three years (due to injury), so I’m starting to enjoy the sport again and it’s nice to get a race under my belt. I’m working with my coach and a good group of boys, which makes it a lot easier.”
The sprints duo of Glen Elsdon and Lewis Evans went head to head against some of Wales’ fastest men over the short and fast 60m with both qualifying for their respective A and B finals.
In a blanket finish and the closest race of the whole weekend, Evans was sixth in the same time of 7.16 as the fourth and fifth places, whilst in the A final Elsdon moved up to fifth overall in 7.02. This was due to two of the pre-race favourites disqualified following a series of re-starts.
Over in the field, Beca Roberts was one of seven competitors in the senior women’s triple jump. Her best attempt of 10.68m came in the sixth and final round, and this leap was enough to take third place and a bronze medal in the process.
Lili Church was the final athlete in action inside the arena towards the latter stages of the championships. In the women’s high jump, she cleared the early rounds and managed to go over 1.66m which ensured that she headed back West with a gold medal having become joint Welsh champion with her nearest rival.
Meanwhile, Pembrokeshire Harriers added another five medals to the tally. Gold was won by Ella Wintle in the under 15 girls’ 300m where she produced another dominant display in 42.59.
Matthew Williams in a fast 1500m race clocked 4:00:15 on his way to silver, with Flavia Jenkins (43.99) and Grace Griffiths (5:33:25) securing bronze in both the 300m and 1500m track races.
Ella’s sister Lucy Wintle made it into the final of the same 300m race and came in fourth in a close one for 44.02. Abigail Buxton cleared 1.61m in the high jump for bronze.
Llanelli AC’s Niamh Roberts ran a time of 64.78 in heat 1 of 3 400m heats.
Elsewhere on the same day, a number of teams from West Wales made the short journey over to Crymych Leisure Centre for the Team Pursuit event on a very windy and cold day, and attracted another large turnout of over 60 teams from local clubs.
Carmarthen Harriers saw two teams entered and recorded finishing times of 3:42:13 and 4:23:55. Running for Carmarthen Harriers were Paul Clarke, David Jones, Maddie Morgan, Guto Morgans, Paul Lynock, Jonathan Cox, Jake Morgan and Kate Parker.
The Pembrokeshire Harriers club saw a record turnout of 55 attend. Highlights included a win for the vets ladies team consisting of Sue Lloyd, Sue Mace, Helen Munro, Deb Garner and Qumran Nahar, whilst the squad of Daryl John, Ross McNally, Tom Sinton, Shaun Newbury and Lee Shannon did not only win their category but won the race overall.
The John Collins Gwent Cross Country League returns this Saturday as it heads back to the first ever venue in 1963 at Pontypool Park.
Following a months break in January to give way for a series of schools’ competitions, races in the penultimate fixture will be held for under 11 athletes through to the seniors and masters as the campaign enters the second half of the winter season.
More signings as Cwm build squad
FOLLOWING on from announcing their three new signings last week Cwmamman United have announced a further six this week.
Nathan Davies, who has captained the Carmarthenshire League Select side, joins from Bwlch Rangers while Rob Morgans joins having played with Haverfordwest County and Goodwick United previously.
They also announced the signing of four tremendously talented young players in Oliver Diamond, Korey Palmer, Stevie Evans and Joe Lewis.
“We are really pleased to have these boys on board as we are not only strengthening our first team squad with some really talented players ” said Ryan Stephens, First Team Manager, “but we are also building for the future.”
Ammanford romp to friendly win
AMMANFORD romped away in a goal fest in this pre season friendly beating their plucky opponents Pontarddulais by ten goals to nil on Friday (Jul 12).
Ammanford Manager Gruffydd Harrison will be pleased with his teams workout and even more excited with his forward line finishing prowess.
There were hat tricks for Gavin Jones who showed excellent pace and new signing Tristan Jenkins along with goals from Lee Trundle, Bruno Forkouh, Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater.
Ammanford have another friendly this Friday (Jul 19) when they take on Ynysygerwn.
After that they travel to Pontardawe Town on Tuesday (Jul 23) before a trip to Welsh Premier League neighbours Carmarthen Town on Saturday (Jul 27).
Carmarthenshire cyclist heading to Mont Blanc
WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE in full swing and the World’s best doing battle against each other, there is another big cycling event taking place within the French Alps.
The Tour du Mont Blanc claims to be the Worlds toughest road cycling event and Llangadog based cyclist, Matthew Page will be lining up and attempting to complete the arduous route.
The event is a non-stop, circumnavigation around the alpine peak of Mont Blanc, starting in France alpine resort of Les Saisies and heads through Switzerland and Italy before returning to finish back in Les Saisies.
Covering a total of 330km (205 miles) with 8300 vertical metres (27,300 feet) of climbing it is roughly the equivalent to tackling two of the toughest Tour de France stages, back to back without stopping and takes in well known alpine passes including the Grand Saint Bernard, Petit Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roseland and Col de la Forclaz.
Matthew is a former professional Mountain Biker, who competed internationally and specialised in 24hr solo competitions and also Carmarthenshire Sports Personality winner. Now a cycle event organiser and cycling media journalist he organises major off-road events within the county including Battle on the Beach, Gritfest and in November 2019 will be organising a round of the British Cycling cyclocross national series within Pembrey Country Park.
With less than 50% of starters likely to finish, Matthew is understandably apprehensive about the challenge: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days I will ever encounter on the bike and despite having done 24hr events previously, the extra challenges the Tour du Mont Blanc brings, including lack of a support crew, route navigation, logistics and uncertain weather especially at higher altitudes. The event has been a major focus for me this year and I am looking forward to the challenge”.
The event takes place on Saturday July 20, with the fastest riders expected to finish in under 12 hours.
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