Jake Smith enjoyed a stunning 2020. Pic: MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKI / AFP/Getty Images.

Jake Smith Still In Shock After Awesome Welsh Record But Already Targeting Track In Tokyo

Jake Smith admits he is still in a state of shock after his Welsh Half Marathon record-breaking run in Poland.

The 22-year-old Cardiff-based runner shattered Steve Jones’ 34-year-old mark just weeks after becoming Welsh qualified.

But Smith says he may not run the distance again until the next World HM Championships in 2022 as he focuses on making Britain’s team for the 10,000m at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m still in shock, I’ve seen some of the people commenting online and it’s all the top athletes in Great Britain and some of the best in the world like world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, but it’s quite nice to know quite how great the team is and the team around me,” said Smith.

Jake Smith crosses line in Poland having smashed Steve Jones’ Welsh HM record.

“Everyone has been messaging each other and to be in with that group really adds to the achievement. Next week might still be a bit weird but I’m on cloud nine.”

Cardiff Met graduate Smith, speaking to britishathletics.org, added: “I’ve been so fortunate just to be able to run this year.

“So many other athletes have had their races cancelled and for me, just to have this race on and to have the opportunity has been such a good result for me and such a big relief to cap off the season.

“I just really couldn’t imagine running that time, I know my training has been really, really good but to run that quick and be involved within the top 20 in the World Championships is not too bad at all.”

Bermuda-born Smith clocked 60:31 in Gdynia to take 28 seconds off the mark set by Wales’ running legend Jones at the Great North Run in 1986.

But now the James Thie coached athlete is ready to switch his attentions to the track and not the road as he looks to book a spot at the Olympic Games.

Jake Smith is coached at Cardiff Met by Wales & GB international James Thie. Pic: Getty Images.

“I’m going to come down and step down in distance for a bit and focus more on the 10,000m next season,” added Smith.

“My next half might end up being the next World Half in two years so hopefully if that is the case and I can go through 10K in a similar time to the weekend, I’ll feel much better about it.

“I only say that because I was running through 10K on Saturday in PB pace.

“I ran 28:50 for 10K on the road only a month ago and to go through 30 seconds quicker at the World Half and try and hold on did hurt a bit I’m not going to lie.

“I need to work on getting a bit quicker and hopefully in a few years, clinch a spot in that top ten.”

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