By Owen Morgan
Established stars and exciting young talent shone brightly in the hot Midlands sun as Welsh athletes took part in the Loughborough International meeting at the weekend.
Taking on strong teams from England, Scotland, Great Britain Under-20s, British Universities and Loughborough University, the Welsh team finished sixth in the overall match.
However, there were a number of stand-out individual performances from the team, which had been selected to reflect a balance youth and experience with a number of athletes making their debuts in a senior Welsh vest.
Leading the way for the young guns was Neath Harrier Bethany Moule, who produced a superb performance in the women’s javelin.
The 16-year old, who represented Wales in the Junior Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas last year, won the event with a throw of 51.58 (500 gram javelin) – a European Youth Championships qualifying standard.
There was also a European Youth Championship qualifying performance for Wales debutant Kiara Frizelle, of Cardiff AAC, who clocked 9:39 to finish fifth in the 3,000m.
Meanwhile, Amber Simpson, of Deeside AAC, another young athlete making her Welsh senior team bow, broke her own Welsh junior record in the women’s hammer, as she finished fourth with 56.95m.
There were also some excellent performance from more established Welsh team members, including World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games discus thrower Brett Morse.
The Cardiff AAC athlete threw 59.61m in difficult wind conditions to take the win for Wales. It was a particularly good day for the Morse family as his younger brother Jay, representing Cardiff AAC, finished third with a throw of 55.97m.
The Welsh team’s co-captain Laura Maddox led by example with a win in the women’s 400m thanks to a strong finish which held off European Junior bronze medallist Hannah Williams. The Swansea Harrier, who recently took four seconds off her 800m personal best, clocked a time of 53.77.
There was another Welsh win in the long jump, where Becca Chapman defended her Loughborough International title from last year with a jump of 6.18m.
Other notable Welsh performances saw Cardiff sprinter Sam Gordon narrowly edged by 0.02 of a second in the 100m where he finished second in a time of 10.47s.
Fellow Cardiff athlete Owen Smith was also pipped to the tape by just 0.03 s in the 400m, where he clocked an excellent time of 46.63 behind Scotland’s Grant Plenderleith, who ran a PB of 46.60.
Gareth Winter, of Gloucester AC, also finished second in the shot put where he recorded a distance of 16.26m, while Guy Smith crossed the line third out of a 22-strong field in the 3000m, clocking in at 8:12.10.
The highest placings amongst the six Welsh athletes representing the British Under-20 team came from Nicholas Young who finished fourth in the shot put with a distance of 15.60m and Sarah Omoregie, who also placed fourth in the women’s shot with 14.49m.
The overall standings in the international match were:
GB Juniors 98
British Universities 92
One thought on “Welsh Athletes Shine In Loughborough International”
Note that Jay Morse’s fine discus throw of 55.97m was with the 1.75kg implement and not the senior 2k discus. Also note the fine wins by Cardiff sprinters Kristian Jones and Jeremiah Azu in seasons bests which you have omitted to mention.