By Owen Morgan
Welsh athletes took the opportunity to warm up for the Commonwealth Games by competing at the Queensland International Track Classic on Wednesday evening.
The event attracted the likes of Jamaica’s Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson and compatriot Yohan Blake, along with English sprint stars Dina Asher-Smith, Adam Gemili and Zharnel Hughes, who ran the fastest 200m on Australian soil since 2001.
The Welsh performance of the day went to Osian Jones, who smashed his nation’s hammer record on the way to finishing second in a quality field.
The 24-year-old from Caernarfon hurled the hammer out to a huge 71.26m, eclipsing his own record of 70m.
This was the third time since July of last year that Jones had broken the Welsh record which was previously set by Shaun Pickering way back in 1984.
The competition was won by England’s Chris Bennett, who registered a distance of 74.08m.
Jones’ record was made even more impressive as it was set in windy conditions which had an effect on several performances throughout the evening in Brisbane.
There was also a second place for Melissa Courtney, who will be competing in the 1500m and 5,000m at the Gold Coast games which start on April 4.
In a high class 1500m race won by England’s Laura Weightman, who finished sixth at last year’s World Championship 1500, Courtney clocked 4.06.70 – her third fastest ever time over the distance.
The 24-year-old, who represents Poole Athletics Club, finished ahead of the likes of Scottish duo Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell along with England’s Jessica Judd.
In the men’s 1500m, Cardiff AAC pair Rowan Axe and Tom Marshall finished down the field in 11th and 13th, clocking 3:48 and 3:54 respectively.
The 100m saw James Ledger (T12) and Morgan Jones (T38) finish fourth and fifth respectively.
Swansea Harrier Ledger clocked a time of 12.16, while Jones, of the DSW Para Academy, registered a time of 12.17.
Paralympic and World Championship gold medallist Hollie Arnold (F42) was one of two disabled athletes taking part in the women’s javelin, where she finished seventh with a throw of 41.30m.
Welsh decathletes Ben Gregory and Curtis Matthews took the opportunity to get some multi-event competition practice in the 110m hurdles, the discus and pole vault.
Gregory, who will be competing at his third Commonwealth Games, jumped 5.00m to finish fifth in the pole vault, while Matthews registered 4.00m to finish eighth.
Their fortunes were reversed in the discus where Matthews finished sixth with a throw of 46.52m, while Gregory was 12th with 38.49m.
In race two of the 110m hurdles, Matthews finished fifth in a time of 15.48, while Gregory was sixth in 15.70.
In race one of the high hurdles there was disappointment for Welsh star David Omoregie, who was disqualified for not clearing a hurdle correctly.