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Brilliant gold for Jake

Saturday 22 July 2017

Cardiff's Jake Heyward ran a brilliant tactical race to win the gold medal and become European under 20 champion at 1500m this afternoon in Grosseto, Italy.

Taking the lead around 150m from the start, from this point on Jake controlled the race. The pace hotted up at the bell and Jake opened up a lead of about five metres. His speed over the final 400m meant that no-one was able to reduce the gap and Jake crossed the finish line the clear winner in 3:56.73.

Speaking after the race, Jake said that,

“This is amazing. Everything we discussed before the race really did work out exactly as we planned and I’m just really grateful I had the help from Archie who helped me out on the outside, stopping people coming round. The plan was to turn it into a sprint finish, as I back my sprint over anything and I knew that as long I came into the final 100m nobody was beating me. It’s surreal – there’s no other feeling like crossing that line. I started slow getting a good position in the middle of the race and then I trusted my sprint that let me win the race. I'm really happy because I won the gold medal and I thank all my supporters and the crowd for the support".

In 2016, Jake announced his arrival on the international scene by winning the European under 18 championship at 1500m and, at 18, is in his first year as an under 20 athlete; and now has the unusual distinction of being the reigning European champion in the same event in two different age groups. He will be looking to take part in next year's World under 20 championship in Tampere, Finland.

The pre-race favourite, Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway, finished eighth.

Later in the day, at the Olympic Stadium in London, in the World Para Athletics championships, Steve Morris was fifth in the final of the 800m after leading for much of the race in a brave attempt to win a medal. Steve will contest his third event, the 5000m, tomorrow.