The first week of August saw the Commonwealth Youth Games 2023 return for the first time in six years and it was fantastic to see three of the eleven athletes involved from the Johnstown-based club.
The Games were held between Friday, August 4 and Friday, August 11 in the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The Bahamas last staged these Youth Games back in 2017.
Track and field competition took place at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain over five sessions, beginning with the 100m heats on Monday afternoon 7th August followed by four consecutive afternoon/evening sessions thereafter.
Carmarthen Harriers' Jessica Lee, Storm Evans and Mia Lloyd were selected for the Trinbago Commonwealth Youth Games 2023 athletics squad over four events - long jump, para discus, discus and the mixed sprint relay.
All three gained valuable competition experience at this level and were rewarded with excellent fourth place finishes in their respective individual events earlier this week.
The first athlete in action in the red vest of Wales on Monday was Jessica (coaches: Steve Perks / Jake Morgan / Wayne Griffiths) in the final of the women's long jump. Featuring 13 athletes altogether, Lee jumped an outdoor season's best of 5.87m in the second round and followed this up with 5.68m in her final trial.
Less than 90 minutes later, history was made in the throws cage as Mia (coach: Paul Mabey) became the first female para athlete to compete for Wales at a Commonwealth Youth Games. Lloyd in the women's F42-F44 / F61-F64 para discus final threw 14.63m in the sixth and final round to finish on a high.
Four days after being a joint Team Wales flagbearer at the games' opening ceremony, Storm (coach: Kevin Evans) was competing in the women's discus final in the opening event of the third session on Tuesday. Evans' best throw recorded was 40.75m in the second round, after opening her competition with 40.12m.
Trinbago 2023 saw more than 1,000 athletes and para-athletes, between the ages of 14-18, participate in a total of seven sports. Featuring 71 nations and territories, a total of 38 athletes represented Team Wales in four of those sports - Athletics, Swimming, Cycling and Women’s Rugby Sevens.
For the first time ever, Para-sports were incorporated into the six-day event where Mia was joined by three other Disability Sport Wales athletes.
Congratulations to all four athletes, and their coaches on their recent achievements! Llongyfarchiadau i’r pedwar, a’u hyfforddwyr ar eu llwyddiannau diweddar!
Looking ahead to the end of the International season, Cardiff International Sports Stadium will host the annual Welsh Athletics under 20 International later this month on the bank holiday weekend (August 26)
England U18, England, Channel Islands, Northern Island, Scotland, Wales and Welsh Schools will all be competing and incorporates para-athletics events.