By Clive Williams
Nine Welsh athletes feature in the top three in the just published 51st UK merit rankings for 2018, compiled by the leading track and field statistician Peter Matthews.
Discus star Brett Morse and Commonwealth Games 20k walk bronze medallist Bethan Davies head their events as Britain’s best with Davies repeating her success of 2017.
Remarkably, Morse tops the list for the seventh time.
Heather Lewis, another walks star completes a Welsh double by being ranked second behind Davies in the 10 and 20k walk category.
The last time that two Welsh athletes topped the rankings was in 2009 and 2011 when 400m hurdlers Dai Greene and Rhys Williams were Britain’s best.
Others ranked in the top three are:
- Ieuan Thomas (2nd3,000m steeplechase)
- Dai Greene, 2011 world champion (2nd400m hurdles)
- Ben Gregory (2nddecathlon)
- Melissa Courtney, Commonwealth Games 1,500m bronze medallist (2nd5,000m)
- Charlotte Arter (2nd10,000m and 3rd 10 mile/half marathon)
- Bethan Rees (3rdjavelin).
The major factors by which the rankings are determined are win-loss record, performances in major meetings and sequence of marks, with both indoor and outdoor results considered.
This year the major targets for top athletes were the Commonwealth Games and European Championships and for younger athletes the World Junior or European Youth Championships.