By Owen Morgan
There were medals, Commonwealth Games standards and personal bests for Welsh athletes during a thrilling night of top class 10,000m running in Birmingham.
The city’s university track hosted the European 10,000m Cup along with the British Athletics 10,000m Championships, which doubled as the Great Britain trials for the Tokyo Olympics.
In the European Cup, Cardiff’s Jenny Nesbitt helped the Great Britain women’s team to secure team gold as they finished ahead of Italy, who took silver and third placed Poland on Saturday night.
Nesbitt was the sixth member of the GB European Cup team to finish as she crossed the line in 12th place overall in a time of 32:48.48.
Also in the women’s A race, which incorporated the British 10,000m championships and Olympic trial, Nesbitt’s Cardiff team-mate Charlotte Arter produced a brilliant run to finish seventh overall in 32:17.40 – her fastest time since 2018.
More significantly, Arter’s time was below the Welsh 10,000m qualifying standard for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Another Welsh athlete to gain a Commonwealth Games qualifying time was Swansea Harrier Kris Jones, who set a superb new personal best of 28:23.50 in the men’s race, eclipsing his previous best of 28:33.17.
Jones’ 14th place finish also helped the men’s Great Britain team to a silver medal in the European Cup, finishing behind France and ahead of Spain.
Other notable Welsh performances on the night saw Brighton’s Beth Kidger finish 14th overall in the women’s race in 32:75 and Cardiff’s Clara Evans finishing 21st in 33:39.19.
Swansea Harriers’ England international Verity Ockenden produced another new PB of 31.43.70 as she finished fourth overall in the women’s race and third in the British Championships behind Scotland’s Eilish McCoglan and England’s Jess Judd, who booked their places at the Tokyo Olympics.
In the men’s Olympic trials, Marc Scott claimed an automatic place on the GB team for Tokyo, while Sir Mo Farah finished second, but failed to gain the qualifying standard.
Full results from Birmingham can be found here: https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2021/GBR/not/