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Match 4 – The decider!!

Friday 21 August 2009

It will be a nervous afternoon for the Cardiff AAC British League men’s team tomorrow, 22 August, at Kingston where the fourth and final round of the 2009 series takes place. We start the day in second place overall, 2 points clear of our old rivals Thames Valley Harriers, and one behind Blackheath. Two teams only are guaranteed promotion and the final match takes place in London!

Despite it being very much towards the end of the season, many of the team have put off their end of season break for one last churn!!

Such is the importance of the match that the big guns have come out to help the team in its hour of need! The team sheet reads like a who’s who of Welsh Athletics and many of the names will surely feature alongside one another in Delhi next year in the Commonwealth Games. Christian Malcolm, James Thie and Joe Thomas all make their BAL debuts for this season and they back up other GB internationals, David Guest, Gareth Warburton, Nat Lane and Tom Marshall.

In the sprints, Christian will accompany Gareth Hopkins in the 100m, while Gareth will partner the returning Lloyd Refell in the 200, with both men looking for sub-22 clockings.

In the 400m, two times Welsh champion Glyn Hawkes makes his Cardiff AC bow and Gareth Warburton partners him; both men will also be looking to keep the club’s 100% record intact in the 4x400m relay. In the 800m, fresh from his recent 1.46.3,Joe Thomas will be looking for maximum points, a feat Cardiff AAC boys have managed on 5 out of 6 occasions so far this year. James Thie will compete in a middle distance double. Having started his season late, he seems to be rounding into typical Thie shape, and will be looking for maximum points in both races.

In the distance events, two of James Thie’s young protégés will be competing. The ever dependable Chris Discombe will look for a win in the steeplechase; after three 2nd place finishes, this is surely the least he deserves. Andy Friend once again partners him, looking to repeat his fine personal best and victory in the last match. In his final track race before an autumn marathon, Nat Lane partners Tom Marshall in the 5000m; both men took good points in the opening match of the season and will be looking to repeat the feat here.

 Gareth Wiltshire and Luke Morgan will be looking for good points in the 400m hurdles, hopefully inspired by the recent Welsh exploits in the World champs. In the shorter event, it’s the two decathletes who start their long days. David Guest will compete in no less than five events, with the hurdles being followed by the long jump, pole vault, discus and shot put. Matt Ledger will also be a busy man, competing in the high jump, hammer, triple jump and javelin.

Dave Coleman will be looking to continue his 100% record in the discus and also looking for another personal best in the shot put. Josh Williams will throw the javelin to complete the throwers.

In the jumps, Stephen Guest will look to repeat his victory in Leeds in the pole vault. The Guest Family have had a fantastic season for Cardiff in the BAL this year and with David having already been awarded athlete of the match once, they both look certain to be in the running again in Kingston! Lewis Long completes the jumps, looking to finally get over the magical 2m barrier that he has been so close to on several occasions this year already.

It has been a fantastic turn around for the men’s team this year which hopefully will culminate in a promotion to National Division One. Last season the club just avoided relegation to National 3, but having already finished 3rd in the BAL cup,  will look to continue its resurgence in Kingston. As we said before the first match; new stadium, new start, and hopefully after the end of this match, new division!!

Good luck.