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Double Welsh triumph for speedy Harry

August 26th, 2021
Harry won two Welsh titles representing Newport Harriers at the Welsh Senior & Under-15 Track-and-Field Championships

A Monmouth teenager has clinched two Welsh titles and impressed in two other major competitions during an action-packed spell of racing.

Harry, a pupil at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, won the 800m and 1500m crowns in the Under-15 boys’ section of the Welsh Senior & Under-15 Track-and-Field Championships in Cardiff.

He followed the success of his sister, Antonia, who won the women’s under-20 400m Hurdles and took silver in the women’s under-20 200m earlier this month in Newport at the Welsh Athletics Welsh Junior Championships.

Harry, 14, won his heat in the 800m and then paced the race in the final very confidently.
Taking the lead as he came up to the bell, Harry held off the challenge from his main rival for the remaining 400m to seal first place and secure his first title of the championships.

After a slow start in the 1500m final, Harry attacked with 300m remaining and eventually took the lead at the beginning of the final bend. However, Harry’s main rival hit back strongly and there was a thrilling 200m sprint for the line in which the Monmouth schoolboy managed to win by just 0.22 seconds.

Also competing was fellow Haberdashers’ Monmouth student, Aharon, in the Senior Men’s Pole Vault and he finished 10th – a remarkable feat considering he is still a junior under-17 athlete.

While John, from Year 7, ran in the Junior Welsh Championships, taking seventh spot in the Under-13 Boys’ 800m and 1500m events.

Harry, a member of Newport Harriers, travelled to Manchester after qualifying for the Under-15 Boys’ 800m and 1500m at the England Athletics U15/17 Championships.

The event is recognised as the British Junior Championships because it involves athletes from England, Scotland and Wales.

Because the heats for both distances took place on the same day, Harry could only race in one event – the 800m – and he automatically qualified for the final after storming to a personal best of 2:05.45 in his heat.

In the final, Harry lined up against some of the best middle-distance runners in his age group in the country and he shone, finishing fifth in another new personal best time of 2:04.85.

Harry also represented Wales in the Under-15 age group of the British Milers Club (BMC) Festival of Miles at the Linford Christie Stadium in London.

Harry was delighted to finally wear the Welsh competition vest, which he was awarded 18 months earlier, and he finished fourth against some of the best middle-distance runners for his age group in Great Britain.

Harry’s time was 10 seconds adrift what he could have achieved on fresh legs and the three athletes who came ahead of him are ranked first, second and third in the UK.

This meeting had been set up with BMC members representing the Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and English regional teams.

Harry’s proud father, Alex, said: “This was a great way for Harry to finish his outdoor season. Looking forward, he’ll try to fit in cross-country runs over the next two terms in between school rugby and football.

“Hopefully there will be an indoor championships as well but Harry will move up to being a junior Under-17 for athletics from 1st October and so he will be competing against older boys in the Under-17 category.

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