Athletes representing England at U20 and U18 level travelled to Cardiff this weekend to compete in the Welsh Athletics International against teams representing the host nation, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Islands (Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Jersey, and Guernsey), and Welsh Schools.
In total, 69 England athletes collected 65 medals throughout the day with numerous PBs and SBs, a great reward for those taking part as the track and field season draws to a close.
The England team won the overall competition - see full results.
How the day unfolded
The U18 men’s 100m hurdles were hotly contested as Joshua Taylor (Club: Exeter, Coach: Lee Farleigh) showed fantastic form setting a new PB of 14.56 coming a close second to his teammate, Henry Curtis (Sheffield and Dearne AC, Lewis Samuel) who ran a fantastic 14.24. As one of the youngest in the team Joshua said:
“This has been an opportunity like no other. From the glory of the highs to the heart aching lows, it has all led to a mini pinnacle within my career to the milestone of being able to represent my country with pride. I look forward to what the future holds for me; a massive thank you to family, friends, coaches, and the England team managers as none of this could have been possible without them”.
There were more personal bests in the sprints with Hayden Christian (Guildford & Godalming AC, Marina Armstrong) in the 400m hurdles dipping under his lifetime best in 52.76. Demari Gumbs (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC, Neil Dodson) took a PB in the 400m in 47.96 to win as the junior in the field.
Over at the long jump there was cause for a double celebration as Stephanie Jones (Sale Harriers, Keith Hunter) took the gold medal in the U20 competition with a jump of 6.10m, and Daisy Snell (Blackheath and Bromley, Guy Spencer) recorded a new personal best of 6.08m. The last jumps event of the day was worth the wait which saw Scott Sinclair (Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde AC, Carl Foster) jump a big PB of 15.17m in the triple jump to take the win.
The success did not stop there with Mikun Adeniran (Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, Ben Hazell & Deborah Montgomery) throwing a fantastic 49.94m in the discus whilst his teammates Cameron Unsworth (Trafford, Michael Martin) and Alastair Brown (Chelmsford AC, Geoff Tyler & Allan Williams) topped the shot put podiums with personal bests of 15.99 and 16.46 respectively.
Para athletes Adam Rutter (Worcester AC, Quentin Elmhirst) and Amy Thompson (Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton, Dave Brown) had a successful day in both the shot and discus and embraced the opportunity to represent the red rose. On the competition, Amy said:
“Being selected for the England team was a brilliant experience, especially as a para athlete. Taking part alongside the able bodied athletes is great as we don’t compete against each other but support each other. The competition was a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and teammates.”
The endurance races took place in full championship style, with tactical races throughout. At this late stage in the season, it was great to see Jonthan Ellerton (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, Noel Carmody) securing a big personal best in the 5000m walks with 27:10.36. In the female race, Abby Hughes (Taunton AC, Steve Shaw) set a season’s best for 2nd in 25:25.34.
The men’s 800m saw Henry Jonas (City of Norwich AC, Tim & Pauline Ash) confirm his recent racing form with 1:50.68 to win with Oliver Capps (Exeter, James Thie) coming 2nd in 1:51.75.
The relays never disappoint and always bring athletes together. The women’s 4x100m team won a super gold in an outstanding performance having never run as a quartet before. The mixed 4x400m won a fabulous silver after a long day of events in Cardiff.
Team Manager Hayley Hemmings said:
“It was a real pleasure to come to Wales and bring not one but two teams, the personal bests were rewarding at the end of what has been a long season for many. The athlete’s maturity both on and off the track was commendable. Thank you to all the team staff for their hard work and support over the weekend.”
- Team Manager: Hayley Hemmings
- Assistant Team Manager: Andy Paul
- Endurance: Katie Hewison and Joshua Schofield
- Jumps: Denis Doyle and Maxine Robbins
- Sprints: Neal Edwards, Harry King and Cathy Walker
- Throws: Kelly Bramhald, Katie Lambert and Anthony Soalla-Bell.
- Physio: Sarah Cormack and Ben Steele