Athletics: Rhys Williams defends Welsh 400m hurdles title

Hurdler Rhys Williams is the son of Wales and Lions great JJ Williams
Hurdler Rhys Williams is the son of Wales and Lions great JJ Williams

Rhys Williams successfully defended his 400m hurdles title at the Welsh Championships in Cardiff on Saturday.

But the 31-year-old was disappointed with his time of 51.90 seconds ahead of the British Championships in Birmingham on 3-5 July.

Williams is continuing his comeback from a four-month ban for failing a drugs test in July 2014.

"I didn't expect to run so slow today... but with a few tweaks I should run a bit quicker next week," he said.

"I'm expecting to run under 50 seconds but it's no good me talking about it, but I've trained hard and I can only do what I can do."

Williams is bidding for a place in the Great Britain team for August's World Championships in Beijing.

But he would have to finish in the top two in the British Championships to be selected and also needs to meet the qualifying time of 49.50sec at an event before Beijing.

Williams only returned to competitive action in May after his ban, which he served after UK Anti-Doping found that he and fellow Welshman Gareth Warburton had inadvertently taken a contaminated food supplement.

Elsewhere at the Cardiff Athletics Stadium, 17-year-old Hannah Brier claimed her first senior women's 100m title in a wind-assisted 11.40sec - just outside the national record of 11.39 sec and all-comers record of 11.27sec.

"I just wanted to concentrate on my start as I've been chasing times a lot and that's not very good," Brier said.

"I'd forgotten that I had to concentrate on my start and I was really happy with that - 11.40 was up there with some of the fastest times I've run this season."

Brier, who added the 200m title on Sunday in 23.62sec, now hopes to be selected for the World Youth Championships, which begin in Colombia on 15 July.

"I've run the qualifying standards quite comfortably, so it's just whether the selection panel now think I'm worthy enough of going out there," she added.

Sam Gordon took the men's 100m title in 10.36sec, with defending champion Dewi Hammond having to withdraw after picking up an injury when winning his heat.

Navid Childs won the triple jump with 14.68m, while Sian Swanson retained her women's triple jump title with 11.06m.

Olly Sheppard was the 3000m champion in 10min 47.52sec, with Vicki Cronin running a personal best of 11.56.23 in the women's event.

Brett Morse successfully defended his discus title with a throw of 58.69m, as did Awen Rosser in the women's event with 39.54m.

There was also success for Cardiff-based pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw, returning to action after 16 months out injured, whose 4.50m led the field and also achieved the mark necessary to qualify for the World Championships.

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