HEATHER Lewis says she was pleased to win the Olympic trials in London – but still hopes she can go on to get the time she needs to get to Tokyo.

The Pembrokeshire Harrier won the Women's 20km race walk in Kew in a time of 01:35:44 - outside of the Olympic qualifying standard of 01:31:00.

But the Haverfordwest athlete will still qualify for her first Olympic Games if she can get the time she needs before the summer.

“Generally I think I am fitter than that time, but it was very tough out there," said Lewis, formerly of Sir Thomas Picton School.

“I found it tough, mostly being out there on my own, and the loop is a bit bigger than normal.

"Normally we are used to 1k, so I found that atmosphere slightly lonely at times.

“Obviously, I am hoping now I can do another couple of races over 20k, and I’m still really hoping I can get the 20k standard for Tokyo.

“I’d really like to try for that, and I honestly think from my training I am capable of getting close at least to that time.

“I’d like to really go for it now for the next few races, and get maybe a race where I can walk with a nice group.”

Lewis opened up a significant gap ahead of Oxford City athlete Gemma Bridge in the early stages of the race.

Bridge, however, closed the gap and passed Lewis half an hour into the race - only to pick up regular red cards.

Her fourth red card ultimately meant an automatic disqualification from the event, and Lewis emerged as a convincing winner.

Bethan Davies, meanwhile, made it a Welsh one-two as she clocked a time of 1:37.04 to finish the trials in second place.

And in the men’s race, Welsh international Guy Thomas finished third, behind Callum Wilkinson and Tom Bosworth in a time of 1:30.19.


DEWI Griffiths' childhood dream of qualifying for an Olympic marathon looked like it might become a reality as he pushed hard for a place in last week’s trials at Kew Gardens.

The Carmarthenshire runner was with the leading group and over a minute ahead of the target pace until the final 10km, but he missed out on a top three position.

His excellent finishing time of 2:13.42 saw the Swansea Harrier, from Llanfynydd, finish fourth, but still well inside the Commonwealth Games qualification standard of 2:15.30.

"The marathon can be a humbling experience, and unfortunately it wasn't my dream day," said Griffiths, a former Ysgol Tregib pupil.

"At 22 miles, my legs said no, and that was it for my hopes of making the Olympic team.

"Huge congratulations to those that made the team, and those that made the event possible in such difficult circumstances.

"I'll take some some down time, recharge, regroup and refocus, and I guess I'll target an autumn marathon somewhere.

"But taking the positives from the race, it's the first race in a couple of years that I've stood on the start line and felt fit, healthy, and believed I could run something fast again.

"Thanks to the people closest to me for being my rock, and for all the messages I've received.

"This whole experience has only added to the fire inside me to burn brighter and stronger."

Fellow Swansea Harrier Joshua Griffiths was the next finisher in fifth place, and his 2:15.08 was also inside the Commonwealth Games target time.

National M40 record holder and Stockport Harrier, Andrew Davies, from Montgomeryshire, was just outside with a solid 2:15.50.

Chris Thompson won the race to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2:10.50, some 40 seconds inside the qualifying time.

Ben Connor will also be in Tokyo after finishing second in 02:12:06, having set the qualifying standard in a previous race, and Mohamud Aadan took third in 02:12:20.

Scotland's Callum Hawkins, 28, had already secured a spot in the delayed Games this summer and was only on pace-making duties in London.

The Welsh ladies really impressed, with Natasha Cockram storming to a new national record.

The MMRT athlete clocked 2:30.03 to lower her own record from 2:30.49, and was agonisingly close to the 2:29.30 Olympic qualification mark.

Ladies' winner Stephanie Davis was the only woman to finish inside the qualifying time, winning in a personal best of 2:27:16.

Cockram finished second, and Rosie Edwards was third in 2:31:56 - Welsh runner Clara Evans was fifth in 02:32:42, also well inside the Commonwealth Games qualification standard of 2:35.30.