By Owen Morgan
Newly crowned British discus champion Brett Morse has revealed he considered quitting athletics after missing out on a place in the Welsh team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Instead, he decided to throw all his efforts into trying to get back to the level which saw him compete at the 2012 Olympics at the London Stadium.
And the decision has certainly paid off. Last weekend’s win in Birmingham means we will be returning to the scene of those unforgettable London games as part of the Great Britain team competing at the inaugural Athletics World Cup.
But it could all have been so different had he decided to walk away from the sport.
The Cardiff AAC captain said: “After the disappointment of the Commonwealth Games my mind was like ‘either stop doing this or really put 100 per cent effort into getting back to the level I was’, which was one of the best in the world and making big finals.
” So after sitting down, thinking about it and speaking to my family, I thought ‘right, I’m going to do this’.”
One of the factors which helped him make the decision was that his flourishing career as a model would allow him the flexibility to invest more time into training.
Morse said: “My line of work now means I can basically train full-time. So the first step was to throw far. This year I’ve thrown further than I have for the last few years.
“It’s still not where I was, but it will progress because I’m throwing long in training. The second step was to become British Champion again and I’ve done it.”
Morse revealed how much it meant to him to regain the British title he last won in 2015. “I felt a bit emotional actually when they said British Champion again because it’s been a few years since I’ve been at that standard.
“So it’s good for me, I’m happy. Thanks to Welsh Athletics, Scott Simpson and Adam Rattenbury especially for all their help over the last six months since the Commonwealth Games.”
Now he can look ahead to a return to the global stage at the World Cup – his first major international championship since he finished fifth at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Morse says he’s looking forward to being back on the big stage. “I’ve said a few times I need a competition that I can get really excited about.
“When I walk in the stadium and they say my name people are going to cheer and stuff, it’s been a long time coming.
“Since this World Cup has been announced I’ve wanted to go, I want to be there.
“The reason I started athletics was for that kind of thing, the big events with a lot of support, a lot of positive energy to get up for it.
“The last few years that hasn’t been the case because of my own bad performances and that’s why you don’t get picked for things, which is fair enough, that’s how the sport is. Now I’m in a position where I can get excited.”
But first it’s back to domestic duties this weekend when he will compete for Cardiff in the British Athletics League Premier Division match at Bedford.
Morse says competing for his club is hugely important to him and will provide some much needed competition ahead of the World Cup and another opportunity to gain the qualifying distance for the European Championships in August.
Despite winning the British Championships, which doubled up as the European trials, Morse will need to meet the European qualifying standard of 63.50m.
The 29-year-old said: “I haven’t really competed much this year. Last year I over competed and it came to the point where I was thinking, ‘oh my God I’ve got to compete again’.
“So I really cut it down and competed less. I’ve got a week or two’s training in between every competition where I have been putting full focus on it.
“But I need to compete now because I’ve got the World Cup and I want to qualify for the Europeans. So I’ll compete next weekend for Cardiff.
“Hopefully we’ll get a good result there and confirm our place in the Premiership for another year and then it’s the World Cup the week after.”
The Great Britain selectors sit down on July 23 to pick the team for the European Championships, which take place in Berlin between August 7 and 12.
Morse is confident he can achieve the qualifying standard. “I’m still a metre off it, but given good conditions I’ll get that no problem. Training suggests I will. So let’s go and find good conditions and hopefully I’ll do it.”