The Road to Rio starts in Cardiff Met

​27/01/2016

​Paralympic gold medallist and Cardiff Met student Aled Davies

​The 31st of January is set to be a spectacular day of athletics at the National Indoor Athletics Centre, at Cardiff Metropolitan University with Senior Championship entrants including Paralympic and World Championship finalists and several Welsh record holders.

The Men's 60m is not to be missed with a number of star athletes in the starting blocks. Leading the way is James Dasaolu, the silver medallist over 60m from the European Indoor Championships in 2013. In 2014 he ran a scintillating personal best of 6.47 and ended 2015 ranked 2nd in the UK. Hot on his heels will be Adam Gemili. This will be his first competitive 60m race since 2012.  Adam secured the silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and went on to execute a thrilling 200m at the European Championships, taking Gold and dipping under the 20-second barrier for the first time.  Joining Dasaolu & Gemili will be 100m Paralympic Champion Jonny Peacock who will be looking to get his Paralympic year off to a fast start along with Cardiff AAC's Kristian Jones who was recently crowned Junior Champion.

Setting the pace in the Women's 60m is 4th Place 2014 Commonwealth Games finisher over 100m, Asha Philip.  The former World Youth Champion also finished 4th in the World Indoor Championships over 60m earlier that year and will be looking to replicate that strong record this Olympic year.  Defending champion Hannah Brier leads the field of Welsh competitors and having already won the U20 title this year in an impressive time of 7.43, will look to attack the Welsh Junior Record of 7.41 that she set in winning the Senior title in last year.

Hoping to challenge Brier for the Welsh title will be fellow Commonwealth Relay squad members Mica Moore, currently studying at Cardiff Met, and British U20 silver medallist Shannon Malone. 

In the 800m talented youngster Alex Coomber will be chasing his first sub 1.50 while going the 1500m distance are Welsh record holder and Cardiff Met lecturer, James Thie, who'll be looking to repeat last year's success and London 2012 Paralympic finalist Stephen Morris.

Jade Williams who is in impressive form this winter will be going up against GB Cross Country International and Cardiff Met graduate Charlotte Arter in the 1500m, looking to challenge them here will also be Melissa Courtney, Julia Cooke and Rachel McClay.

Just three weeks after breaking the All Comers Record in this stadium, Commonwealth 4th place finisher Chris Baker and Irishman Barry Pender return looking to break even higher heights. Both athletes soared over 2.26m earlier in January and achieved the European Championships qualifying standard in the process.  This is a must see.

Competing in the Shot Put are three throwers who all have seasons to boast about.  Commonwealth Games team member Gareth Winter threw over 18m for the first time in 2015 and will look to continue that form into this season.  Alongside Winter is Paralympic gold medallist and Cardiff Met student Aled 'The Bear' Davies.  Aled medalled in both the Discus and Shot Put at the 2012 Paralympic Games and claimed a silver medal in the Discus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.  In 2015 Aled broke the World record for the Discus Throw his category no less than three times, having already secured the record for the Shot Put in 2012.  Discus thrower and Cardiff Met alumnus Brett Morse takes a step away from the cage this indoor season to complete the line-up of international athletes in this event and get his Rio 2016 campaign underway.

European U23 110m Hurdles Champion David Omoregie opens his indoor season today as does close domestic rival and European U23 finalist David King.  These two athletes have provided some thrilling races when going head-to-head and their season opener of Olympic year is definitely not one miss!

Also opening her 2016 season is Wales' medallist from the 2014 Commonwealth Games Sally Peake.  Sally showed what Welsh athletes are made of, battling through the Scottish downpours to clinch the silver medal in the Pole Vault when others found the weather conditions too challenging.

With a star-studded line up across both track and field events, the Road to Rio definitely starts here.