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Medals in Welsh Champs

Monday 20 June 2011

The 2011 Welsh Championships were held over last weekend, 18/19 June at a blustery Cardiff International Sports Stadium and Cardiff athletes were prominent throughout. A clash of dates with the European Team Championships taking place in Stockholm meant that the championships were deprived of its current four top international stars - Dai Greene, Christian Malcolm, Gareth Warburton and Brett Morse - who were all on duty for the Great Britain team. Highlights of the first day included a Cardiff 1,2,3 in the men's 400m, with 800m specialist Joe Thomas taking the gold in a respectable 47.25 and Tom Miller (48.65) and Glyn Hawkes(49.29) having a close battle for the other medals.

Fresh from his first sub 14min 5,000m, Adam Bitchell took the 1500m gold in 3:54.52, with defending champion James Mills taking the bronze and under 17 club record holder over 800m Elliot Slade taking fifth in his first senior championship.

The only other male track event of the first day was the men's 100m where Cardiff athletes Gareth Price and Milton Baker had to settle for silver and bronze behind Swansea’s Wyn Roberts, who powered through the strong head wind in 10.99.

On the women's side, Amanda Moss showed a welcome return to competition to take the 800m gold while Mica Moore battled the -4.4 wind to take silver in the 100m behind Colwyn Bay’s Rachel Johncock - Cardiff’s Melanie Stephenson and Hannah Williams were also finalists.

In the 400m, Rhianne Jones just missed out on the medals, coming fifth in 58.67 in a race won by Newport's Rebecca Williams.

Senior women's team manager Debbie Rees picked up yet another Welsh Championship medal – the 1500m bronze in 4:39, behind Swansea’s Carol Glover.

In the field events, Cardiff’s Jason Hallet and Bradley Cole had a close battle for silver in the men's javelin, with Hallett taking the silver by just 24cm. Commonwealth Games finalist Lee Doran took the gold with 70.90m. Bradley also took fifth in the hammer, throwing 43.94m.

David Guest (BAL Higher Claim athlete) made a welcome return to competition, taking silver in the men's shot with 11.24m before going on to win the discus with 36.67m. David’s younger brother Stephen took his first senior title with a 1.90m clearance in the high jump. Cardiff youngster Jonathan Bailey had a close battle for bronze with training partner Tyrone Blake, with Jonathan just edging it with a 1.85m jump.

Sally Peake (Liverpool) took the headlines in the field, breaking the Welsh pole vault record with a third time clearance at 4.30m. Cardiff’s Bryony Raine could not match her training partner having to settle for 3.90m and the silver medal.

Ffion Bodilly took her first Welsh senior title, winning the high jump  with a clearance of 1.68m.

Imogen Miles had a busy weekend, taking a silver in the long jump with a best of 5.59m but going one better in the triple jump with a winning jump of 11.79m.

European 400m hurdles silver medallist Rhys Williams was the star of the second day, using the Championship’s to work on his speed and winning the 200m in 21.87 into a another strong headwind. There were four other Cardiff athletes in the final, with Gareth Price picking up another silver medal in 22.08.

Gareth Morris was just edged out by Swansea’s Paul Bennett in the 400m hurdles with Ryan Chappell running a season's best for bronze.

In the men's 800m, Ieuan Thomas (1:51.73) and Michael Kershaw(1:52.67) both ran impressive personal bests as they were just edged out of the gold by Sale’s Rhys Smith. Mike Kallenburg completed a successful weekend for James Thie’s training group with a bronze in the men's 5,000m, again running a personal best with 15:19.60.

For the women, Emily Brown had a busy day claiming bronze in the 400m hurdles and then going on to win the steeplechase.

Lianne Clarke was close to her own Welsh record as she threw a championship best performance in the womens Javelin of 52.26m.

The Welsh Championships should be the highlight of Wales' track and field season and such a clash of dates should not be allowed to happen again.

The full results may be viewed by clicking on RESULTS.