The 100th Welsh Senior Championships were held last weekend. The first Championships took place in 1907, at Newport Athletic Ground, now Rodney Parade, with the two World Wars being the reason why the 100th edition wasn’t held until this year, at Cardiff's Leckwith stadium. Curiously, the programme (£4) cost more than the entry (£3), but for two hours of entertainment on Friday night and six on Saturday, it was well worth the total cost.
There was a parade of champions on the Saturday, featuring some of the finest athletes the country’s produced, across many disciplines. Among those taking part were Lynn Davies, the 1964 Olympic long jump champion, Steve Jones, still the British marathon record holder almost 32 years after setting his record, and Venissa Head, the winner of a remarkable 25 Welsh titles in the shot and discus.
The best-known of the current vintage did not take part for various reasons, but there were still plenty of notable performances in less than favourable conditions. Samuel Gordon ran a personal best 10.32 to win the 100m, Dewi Griffiths front-ran the 5,000m in the rain and was rewarded with his second personal best in a week in 13:50.35, Brett Morse won his tenth Welsh Senior Championships title with a throw of 59.76m and Bethan Davies narrowly missed out on the championship record she set last year in the 3,000m walk, winning in 12:26.45.
Hopefully, there’ll be more good performances from these athletes and many others when I next watch live athletics, at the British trials in Birmingham in just over two weeks’ time.