Thomas de­light af­ter earn­ing Wales call-up

Llanelli Star - - Sport -

YS­GOL y Strade pupil Ben Thomas is one of 38 ath­letes in­vited to join the Welsh Ath­let­ics 2018-19 Com­mon­wealth Games Pro­gramme.

Thomas started run­ning at the age of nine in with Llanelli AC and then joined Car­marthen Har­ri­ers dur­ing 2013. He had suc­cess in cross coun­try and ath­let­ics events at school and club level.

Three years later, within two years of jump­ing his first steeple­chase bar­rier, he rep­re­sented Great Britain for the first time. And he trav­elled to Gyor in Fin­land this sum­mer to com­pete in the Eu­ro­pean Youth Games.

He claimed ninth place in the 2000 me­tres steeple­chase in a new per­sonal best of 5:53:47, tak­ing al­most four-and-a-half sec­onds off his pre­vi­ous best.

His call-up crowns a fine 2018 which has seen him take first place in the Un­der-18s English Cham­pi­onships and claim club records in both the un­der-17s 1500m steeple­chase and un­der-20s 2000m steeple­chase. He was also first in the Un­der-20s Welsh Schools Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion In­ter-Schools Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in 2017.

Thomas said: “I am de­lighted, proud and hon­oured to be named in the Welsh Ath­let­ics Com­mon­wealth Games Tal­ent Devel­op­ment Sup­port Pro­gramme. The big aim for 2019 is to gain qual­i­fy­ing times and Great Britain se­lec­tion for the un­der-20 Eu­ro­pean track and field cham­pi­onships in the sum­mer.

“There are var­i­ous step­ping stones prior to this in­clud­ing the Welsh Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships in Pem­brey and the British Mil­ers Club events start­ing in May.”

Har­ri­ers en­durance coach Neil Thomas added: “Ben has shown ex­cel­lent ded­i­ca­tion and this is just re­ward for that. Af­ter an ex­cel­lent sum­mer steeplecha­s­ing on the track, com­pet­ing for Car­marthen Har­ri­ers, Wales and Great Britain, I am sure the sup­port of Welsh Ath­let­ics will help Ben progress fur­ther.”

Ben Thomas.

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