Dewi Griffiths Is Wales' Best Cross Country Runner - Dewi Griffiths

Dewi Griffiths wins his eighth Welsh Cross Country title. Pic: Owen Morgan

Dewi Griffiths And Jenny Nesbitt Have The Welsh X-Factor In Cardiff

sportswales

By Paul Jones

Dewi Griffiths will hope for home support when he carries the flag for Wales into Saturday’s 26th edition of the Cardiff Cross Challenge at Llandaff Fields.

Griffiths will use the race as preparation for his spring marathon campaign and the Olympic hopeful intends to bring the form that has taken the Swansea Harrier to eight domestic cross-country titles.

The event will also host the second fixture of the John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League and it was Griffiths who claimed victory in men’s first match of the competition last month in Pembrey Country Park.

“I’ve raced many times at Cardiff cross over the years,” said Griffiths.

“The first time I raced I finished 52nd in the u13s race back in 2003. Over the years I managed to get closer to the front and in 2016 and 2017 I was lucky enough to win it!

“It’s been a key fixture in my calendar for many years, and the support on the course is always amazing.

“This year’s race will be no different with some of the best athletes in the world competing on Saturday. It’ll be a good test of where I’m at in terms of fitness as I build up to a spring marathon.”

As one of the UK’s leading athletics events, over 2,000 athletes from across the globe have entered to take part in the UK’s only World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold Label Event.

The event will see local runners aged from under 11 to over 70 lining up alongside top global athletes, right in the heart of Cardiff.

This year’s event has attracted athletes from over 10 different countries including running powerhouses Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and the UK, as Cardiff hosts the third race in the World Athletics Gold Cross Country Series.

Vincent Keter and Likina Amebaw reflect the international interest, while Griffiths and Jenny Nesbitt lead the Welsh domestic entries.

Dewi Griffiths Is Wales’ Best Cross Country Runner . . . For The Eighth Time

Likina Amebaw of Ethiopia leads the senior women’s field, having picked up victories this year in the 2023 Cross Internacional Zornotza and Cross Das Amendoeiras Em Flor.

Among the top international entrants is Hungary’s Lili Anna Vindics-Toth, seven-time Hungarian National Champion and 2022 Hungarian Indoor Champion over 3,000m.

Welsh pairing Nesbitt (Pontypridd Roadents) and Cari Hughes (Cardiff Athletics) will battle it out on home soil, both former UK Inter-Counties Champions.

Nesbitt was the runner-up at Cardiff Cross Challenge in both 2019 & 2021 and Hughes was an impressive runner-up at the Armagh Road Races in 2023.

Sam Gordon And Jenny Nesbitt Bid To Retain Welsh Athletics Titles At Senior Championships

Nesbitt said: “I’m really excited to line up again in Cardiff. It’s become an annual outing for me and it’s fantastic to see how the event has grown over the last few years.

“I think the ladies’ field is the strongest it has ever been this year and I’m really looking forward to lining up against some of the UK’s strongest runners. There is always a fantastic atmosphere in Cardiff, and I am sure it will help carry me around when it starts getting tough!”

The senior men entrants are led by Kenya’s Keter, the 2021 World U20 Champion over 1500m.

He is joined by Joel Lillesso of Denmark, the 2023 European U20 Champion over 5,000m and the European U20 record holder for 3,000m indoors with a time of 7:48.34.

The event will be live streamed on Welsh Athletics YouTube. Keep up-to-date with the live action here:

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