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Steve Gardner and Paul Brooks struck gold at the Welsh Masters Athletics champs at Yate.

*Pictured above - Steve Gardner with his gold and silver medals.

Steve Gardner and Paul Brooks struck gold at the Welsh Masters Athletics champs at Yate.

Road Runner Steve Gardner hit the track running last Saturday and won both a gold and a silver medal during the Welsh Masters Athletics championships, which this year was held at Yate, near Bristol, due to unforeseen problems at the original venue at Aberdare.

And a second talented North Wales athlete and official, Paul Brooks (Wrexham AAC), was another champion, and collected three gold medals in three different field events in his master veteran age cat.

This prestigious T&F WMAL challenge was staged in breezy, and quite showery conditions, within the Avon/Yate Open meeting where the organisers generously included the WMAL championships, which attracted over 70 Welsh registrations.

Steve, a quality veteran from NWRRC was delighted by his results in the 1500m and the 800m races, which also included two new personal best times (PBs), and two excellent podium places for a gold and a silver medal.

This was his first major venture onto the track for several decades and he wanted to test his speed in the WMAL champs before competing in other top track events, including the British Masters T&F championships.

Steve won the 1500m Final A-race with a gold medal performance and a PB of 5 minutes 13.38 seconds in a mixed age final event, and he was over seven-seconds faster than the next placed athlete. And in the 800m Final B-race, he finished 5th in another mixed age race but he came 2nd in his MV60 age cat in 2 minutes 27.48 seconds, to claim a deserved silver medal.

After the races, Steve confirmed: “After 30-years away from track racing, I competed yesterday in the 1500m and 800m in breezy conditions, coming 1st and 2nd respectively in my MV60 age group. I was very pleased with the results. I thought about aiming for the champs a couple of months ago after some pleasing parkruns and road races.

“Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to get any track training sessions in, so I have been doing them on the road instead, but it doesn't seem to have been detrimental to my performances on the day.”

Steve accepted that some Welsh Masters’ athletes had had to withdraw from the competition due to the change of venue, the change of date, or for other some reasons, but the standards remained very high throughout.

He modestly claimed that he had been very fortunate to have won some medals and confirmed: “I think the 800m was the better performance for me and it was closer than I expected to be, to the MV60 winner.

“I'll probably enter Derby and will try to sharpen up a bit more for the British champs which will give me a better indication of my standing in Wales/UK is, and where athletes will most probably be at their peak.

Paul Brooks wins a hat-trick of gold medals in the WMAL championship throwing events...

*Pictured above - Paul Brooks, who won a hat-trick of gold medals at Yate.

Paul Brooks a well-respected North Wales Regional Athletics (NWRAC) official and experienced veteran thrower at Track & Field events was another worthy champion and claimed a remarkable hat-trick of gold medals in his MV75 age category at three tough and very different field events during the Welsh Masters Athletics championships at Yate on Saturday.

Many of the throwing events, like some of the track races, included competition against multiple ages and mixed entries, and were staged over a very long day of almost continual action.

In the 4kg Hammer A-Final, Paul, who represented Wrexham AAC recorded a distance of 14.46 and he claimed 1st place, and a gold medal in his MV75 age cat.

He continued his golden streak by winning the 1kg Discus competition with a throw of 21.75 in the B-Final and celebrated a hat-trick of unexpected gold medals by winning the Shot Put 4kg B-Final with a throw of 6.97.

Paul is another very talented athlete and another modest performer who tried to play down his remarkable achievement.

He explained: “It’s nice to win medals, but I couldn’t get going in the hammer, and my discus was a disaster! My shot just about rescued the day. Plus, there was a huge downpour during the discus, which stopped us for about seven minutes, so I was wet and grumpy!

“I am determined to put things right by training harder and have several more meetings to compete in before the season ends. When the going gets tough.”

*These are the provisional results from the Avon/Yate Open meeting which also included the WMAL championships:


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