[Source: Posted August 3, 2016 By David Radford]
The annual under 20’s Welsh International took place at the Cardiff International Stadium on the evening of Wednesday 20th of July 2016. This meeting was originated as a way of providing competition for under20 athletes, with the selection criteria based on performances at the area championships.
The host nation Wales selected a national team from all parts of the Principality, to compete against representative teams from England North, England Midlands and England South.
Kingston’s Maggie Okul the six times Northern Champion won her 6th England vest at this meeting, which was her fourth consecutive appearance at the Welsh International, where she was also handed the honour of captaining the England North women’s team. On a personal note Maggie finished in the silver medal position in the hammer competition.
The England teams made a clean sweep of the medal positions, England North were the winners of this International for their first time, with a total of 108 points. England South finished in 2nd place with 99 points, England Midlands 3rd with 92 and Wales 4th with a total of 65 points.
Performances of note from other members of the England North team came firstly from javelin thrower Sophie Percival of West Cheshire who got the team off to a flying start, winning the competition and setting a new meeting record.
Men’s team captain Lee Thompson of Rotherham won the 400 metres race and he also set a new meeting record. Chloe Esegbona from the city of Stoke club won the 400 metres hurdles race and took 3rd place in the 100 hurdles.
Robbie Shaw of Nene Valley the bronze medallist at the recent England Championships was the winner of the shot competition. Ossama Meslek of the Leeds City club was the winner of the ‘Ann Hill’ mile race. Jessica Swannack of Preston won the pole vault competition, whilst Hallamshire’s Tilly Simpson was the winner of the 800 metres.
Connor Wood of Leeds City was the 200 metres winner. Two athletes from the Wigan & District club were also event winners, Emily Borthwick winning the high jump and Tom Dobbs the discus throw.
England North’s men’s team were the winners of the medley relay race, where the first athlete runs 600 metres, the second 400 metres and the athletes on the third and fourth legs both run 200 metres. The team of Sam Day, Lee Thompson, Sam Griffin and Connor Wood shattered the meeting record, running 2:55.69s, more than 20 seconds faster than the 2015 winners.