Geraint Thomas will “expect the worse” as he prepares to see off his Tour de France rivals for perhaps the final time on Friday afternoon. The Welshman heads into the mountains for the last occasion before Saturday’s time trial, with a lead that most expect him to be able to protect but there are no guarantees. Thomas and Team Sky will be alive to attacks from all his rivals as he seeks to retain his one minute 59 second advantage over Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin – an advantage preserved on yesterday's flat stage to Pau which won by Frenchman Arnaud Demare - as attention turns to Stage 19.
Jake Heyward stepped up in distance and ran the third fastest time ever by a British Under 20 athlete as he clocked 7 min, 55.17 sec over 3,000 metres at Watford. The 19-year-old pipped his European Championships bound training partner Ieuan Thomas with an electric burst in the final 50 metres that helped him strip five seconds off his previous best over the distance, of just over eight minutes, set indoors earlier in the year. Heyward, who finished fifth, now sits proudly at the top of the UK Under 20 rankings for 2018 at 1500 metres and 3,000 metres, 10 seconds clear of his nearest rival over the metric mile and 19 seconds in the long event.
Joe Brier enjoyed a triumphant homecoming at the Welsh Athletics International in Swansea following his medal-winning performance at the World Junior Championships. Brier, who helped Great Britain to a 4x400m bronze medal in Finland, followed up that performance by winning the individual 400m at Swansea University's Sport Campus.
Rally Finland blasted off with an opening stage around the streets of Jyväskylä tonight, with Elfyn Evans crossing the finishing line in ninth position and predicting that a he’s in for a “decent weekend.” Co-driven by Daniel Barritt, the 29-year old from Dolgellau completed the stage in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC just 2.6 seconds behind leader Ott Tanak (Toyota) after the short spectator-friendly test. With three full days of action ahead, the rally properly gets underway tomorrow, with nine stages over the very fast and rollercoaster roads of central Finland.
Wales confirmed their status as the comeback kings as they wiped out a 2-1 deficit to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 at the EuroHockey Youth Championships II to reach the semi-finals. It means Wales U18 head coach Lee Ible’s side will be battling for promotion to the top tier when they meet the Russians in the final four at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on Friday – a big change from fighting to avoid relegation last time out.
Swansea University’s commitment to sporting excellence has been given a major boost by becoming the first institution in Wales to be awarded TASS Dual Career Accreditation. Already the only establishment outside England to be awarded the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) approval, Swansea is leading the way in Wales by supporting talented athletes in education.
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