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Wales' Top Senior Athletes joined by Europe's Best in Cardiff PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Jones   
Sunday, 27 January 2019 19:39

Welsh Athletics incorporated the Combined Events Indoor International into the Senior Indoor Championships on 26th and 27th January over two days of excellent competition in Cardiff.

In the middle of a busy period of Indoor Competition in Wales, it was all about Senior athletes as well as a sprinkling of under 13's, under 15's and under 17's over the weekend at the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cardiff.

Wales' top athletes from all four regions descended on Cyncoed Campus on Saturday 26th January and Sunday 27th January featuring many defending champions and Internationals. They went head to head to be crowned as Welsh champion in their respective disciplines over track events and in the field.

Additionally in 2019, Welsh Athletics were delighted to announce that it would incorporate the Combined Events International match, where teams from Great Britain, France, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic all travelled over to battle with points all-important in that element. 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.

As was the case over previous years, the championships again delivered as local athletes performed in front of their home crowd added on by a few exciting finals. This included the Senior Men's 60m B Final and Senior Women's A Final over the same distance where there was a blanket finish to decide on champions and medallists.

It was an event that was broadcasted online thanks to the team at Vinco Sport, with athletes all getting the opportunity to perform on the big stage watched on by viewers online as well as those in the stands. It went out to those who were based locally and as far away as North America.


Photo: Owen Morgan


Five Carmarthen Harriers athletes entered and took part in the 2019 edition which were Kieran Roberts, Beca Roberts, Glen Elsdon, Lewis Evans and Lili Church.

Kieran was the only one in action on Saturday and ended up becoming a Welsh Champion over the 800m for senior men. He ran 1:58:72 in the second of two heats to comfortably book his place in the final, however it was always going to be a close one with the top four separated by only one second. Moving into the final a short time later, and Roberts went off alongside Slade, Wright, Reynolds, Lloyd-Davies and Hibbert. All four were neck and neck for the majority of the first half of the race with three moving away towards the latter stages. Roberts finished in second behind Wright from Willowfield Temperence H and as a result, was the first Welsh athletes across the line 1:55:76 to secure his place at the top of the podium.

Speaking to Dai Sport's reporter Owen Morgan, he said: "It was good to be back out there. I haven't raced a lot in the last three years so I'm starting to enjoy the sport again and it's nice to get a race under my belt.

"I've had a few injuries off and on. It's been quite hard. I've been quite disillusioned. I was on the verge of knocking it on the head altogether, especially with uni exams and work.

"But I've started back into running and started enjoying it again. I'm back into training and races come from that. I've got the hunger back, as they say.

"I'm working with my coach and a good group of boys, which makes it a lot easier, and building up a few races as well. The more you see yourself progressing the more you want to do.

"I haven't been setting targets for myself. I haven't been putting pressure on to perform. I suppose I'm getting gains from that and enjoying it more."

Beca arrived in Cyncoed Campus bright and early on Sunday morning in time for the first field event of the day, the Senior Women's Triple Jump. She was on the start list along with six other talented jumpers and was a great experience in her development. Her first few jumps were consistent throughout with the best performance of all coming in the sixth and final round where she leapt out to 10.68m. This was enough to take third place which resulted in a bronze medal.

The sprints duo of Glen and Lewis went head to head against some of Wales' fastest men over the short and fast 60m. Evans was the first to go in heat 1 and qualified to the B final in a time of 7.13, whilst Elsdon in heat 3 was involved in a tight one with Swansea's Roberts to clock 7.02 and book his place in the A final.

The Men's 60m B final was most probably the closest race of the whole weekend, where the race ended in a blanket finish on the line. The photo finish team certainly had some work to do to separate the athletes with Lewis given sixth place in 7.16. Meanwhile, the A final also had some excitement where two of the favourites were both disqualified after a series of re-starts. Glen moved up from seventh to finish in fifth overall in 7.02, not too far off a sub 7 clocking.

Lili was the final athlete to take to the arena later on Sunday afternoon for the Senior Women's High Jump and involved seven ladies in total. 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 Cardiff's Evans.

As with Beca, the pair did an excellent job in senior categories, with their own U17 age group championships on the way next weekend. Today surely has given them some confidence for a return to Cardiff in a week's time.

Meanwhile, in some other results, Pembrokeshire Harriers added another five medals to the tally. A gold, silver and two bronze came from Ella Wintle (Under 15 Girls 300m 42.59), Matthew Williams (Senior Men 1500m 4:00:15), Flavia Jenkins (Under 17 Women 300m 43.99) and Gracie Griffiths (Under 15 Girls 1500m 5:33:25). Ella's sister Lucy Wintle made it into the final of the under 15 girls' and came in fourth in a close one 44.02. Abigail Buxton cleared 1.61m in the high jump for bronze whilst Niamh Roberts, running for Llanelli AC went in the opening heat of the Senior Women's 400m heats earlier on clocking 64.78.


Photos: @lissgphotos





Action comes thick and fast at this time of year and athletics supporters haven't got long to wait until the next event. The Welsh Capital will welcome Juniors next weekend as the Welsh Athletics Junior Indoor Championships will take place over two-days on 2nd February and 3rd February.

Final Timetable and Preview will follow shortly during the week. Online media coverage will be available via the Welsh Athletics and Carmarthen Harriers social media pages, whilst results will head up on