Welsh duo Remi Adebiyi and James Tomlinson have booked their places in Sunday’s finals at the European Athletics Under-20 Championships in Sweden.
Adebiyi will run in the 3,000m steeplechase, while Tomlinson will be throwing in the discus.
Newport Harrier Adebiyi clocked a new personal best as he finished second in his heat on Friday morning.
With a fast pace being set from the start, the youngster stayed with the leaders throughout the race and came through to finish second in a new PB of 9:04.46, a fraction of a second behind winner Levente Szemerei.
Coming into the competition Adebiyi was ranked eighth, but over the two heats he was the fourth fastest qualifier – a performance he believes could put him in with a chance of claiming a medal.
Adebiyi said: “I reckon, with my speed at the finish I could sneak a medal if I’m extra careful and focus throughout the race.
“I felt comfortable, but it was quite fast for a heat, near my PB pace, but I kept at it and I backed my sprint and my finish to make it into the final on Sunday.
“It feels special to be in the final. These are my first European Championships. I didn’t know what the expectations were, but going on rank, I’m eighth. “I knew I had a fighting chance of reaching the final. I’m glad I executed the heat, not expending too much energy but still working hard.
“The game plan was to stay there or there abouts throughout, stay strong because I knew in the coming laps a few people would fade away as it went off pretty hard.
“I thought ‘stick in there’, stay as long as I can and then a good finish at the end to finish second.”
Tomlinson was equally happy after an almost identical qualification to Adebiyi, where he finished second in his group and fourth overall.
The Pembrokeshire Harrier registered a best throw of 58.14m in Group B behind Jakub Forejt, of the Czech Republic. The longest throw in qualifying came from Spain’s Yasiel Brayan Sotero with 60.18m.
Great Britain team joint captain Tomlinson said: “It’s a heat and the job’s done.
“I’m into the final, then we can have some fun and dance.
“I’m beaming, I’m happy, I’m going to get back to my hotel now, get some food and relax.
“I just tried to take a new approach, just try to stay easy and stay long. In the final maybe I’ll try to raise my aggression and we’ll see how far we can go.”
Asked what his expectations for the final were, Tomlinson said: “Some good throws. There’s no pressure on myself, let’s just do what I did today. For now, I’m happy.”
Tomlinson’s final is the first event scheduled for Sunday morning, while Adebiyi competes in the 3000m steeplechase during the afternoon.