Hannah Brier wins the women's 400m title. Pic: Owen Morgan

Brilliant Briers Make History At Welsh Athletics Championships As Hannah And Joe Earn Family Double

By Owen Morgan

Hannah and Joe Brier achieved a unique family double on day one of the Welsh Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Stepping up from the 100m and 200m distances – which have seen her represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games – Hannah won the women’s 400m title at her first attempt.

Minutes later, brother Joe took the men’s title over the same one lap distance, which has seen him represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

The family double is believed to be the first time siblings have won the same event at a Welsh Championship.

Proud mum Lynne Brier, who is herself a coach with Swansea Harriers, said: “It’s Hannah’s first Welsh Championships over 400m having just stepped up from the 100 and 200, so a completely new experience for her.

“She wanted a bit of a change. She’s been an athlete from the age of nine when she decided she wanted to be a sprinter, so she’s been running the short sprints for a long, long time.”

Big sister Hannah first represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she competed in the 100m as a 16-year-old.

Last year, she competed at the Games once again when she pulled on the Welsh vest over 100 and 200 metres, having broken the Welsh 100m record earlier in the season.

Joe Brier and Hannah Brier, either side of coach Matt Elias. Pic: Owen Morgan

Joe also competed at last year’s Commonwealth Games and has established himself as a regular in the Great Britain team in recent years at the Tokyo Olympics and last year’s World Athletics Championships.

The Swansea Harrier was part of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning 4x400m at last season’s European Athletics Championships.

“They both work so hard, they train hard and they egg each other on,” said Lynne.

“Watching Hannah run first would have inspired Joe because he’s not one to ever let her get the better of him!

“There’s a bit of competition between them, they support each other but there’s competition there as well. Neither of them likes the other to get on top.”

Asked whether the rivalry was likely to intensify now brother and sister run over the same distance, she said: “It may well do!

“But I think it will be healthy rivalry, they’ll support each other. They are ever so proud of each other, there’s never any animosity between them.”

Joe Brier wins the men’s 400m title. Pic: Owen Morgan

An increased rivalry between the Briers could be bad news for one-lap rivals.

Both put in impressive performance in their respective races on Saturday.

Having won her heat in a new personal best of 54.13, Hannah equalled the time in the final, where she finished ahead of reigning champion Ffion Mair Roberts, who clocked 54.98.

Joe, who, like Hannah, is coached by Welsh one-lap legend Matt Elias, was equally impressive in the men’s event winning his heat in 48.26.

The final saw him go up a couple of gears to break the tape in 45.96 ahead of non-Welsh competitors Ben Hawkes, of Leamington and Ukraine’s Nikita Rodchenkov.


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