By Owen Morgan
Welsh athletes have excelled at home and abroad as Kate Seary set a new Welsh steeplechase record in Manchester and Joe Brier claimed a huge new 400m personal best in Belgium.
Seary broke the 3,000m steeplechase mark on her debut over the distance. The Cardiff athlete produced a brilliant performance to finish second to Sarah Tait, clocking 10:21.23.
The time eclipsed the previous Welsh best over the barriers of 10:25.03 set by Amman Valley’s Jade Williams in 2017.
It was a successful afternoon all round in the steeplechase for Welsh athletes at the British Milers Club Sports City Grand Prix as Jonathan Hopkins won the men’s event in a time 8:36.50.
Cardiff’s Ieuan Thomas was third in 8:50.38.
Meanwhile, Hopkins’ Swansea Harriers team mate Brier produced a breathtaking run over 400m in Oordegem, Belgium, on Saturday afternoon.
Running in lane one, the Wales and Great Britain international stopped the clock in 45.84 to slash almost half a second off his personal best as he finished third in a high quality field.
The time is the third fastest by a British athlete this year and the fifth fastest 400m time by a Welsh athlete ever – displacing his coach Matt Elias in the top five.
Brier now only sits behind Welsh legends Iwan Thomas, Tim Benjamin, Jamie Baulch and Dai Greene on the nation’s all-time list.
Saturday’s time was narrowly outside the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games standard of 45.75.
Another Welsh athlete to claim a new PB on the continent on Saturday was Spain–based Angharad Davies who dipped under 4:30 in the 1500m for the first time as she registered 4:28.20 finishing fifth.
Back in Manchester, there was also a PB and European Under-23 qualifying time of 3:40.36 for Newport athlete Remi Adebiyi.
Cardiff athlete Lizzie Harris also celebrated a PB as sheclocked 2:08.53, finishing third in the 800m B race.
Welsh athletes have enjoyed an excellent few days as far as personal bests are concerned.
Welsh shot put champion Adele Nicoll produced a consistently high quality set of distances with her first five throws at the Manchester Invitational on Thursday night.
But with her final effort, Nicoll launched the shot to a bignew PB of 16.49, to massively improve her previous best of 16.34, set in 2019.
At the same meeting, Cardiff’s James Heneghan set a new 1500m PB when he finished fifth in 3:41.66, eclipsing his previous best of 3:43.10 set earlier in the month.
Cardiff sprinters Gordon and Azu were part of the GB 4×100 squad and Gordon helped the team to sixth place in their race on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, Kidger, winning her first senior GB vest, finished fifth in the women’s 5000m in 15:59.93, to earn the team three points.
The overall event was won by hosts Poland, ahead of Italy with GB achieving their highest finish since 2013.