Dewi Griffiths Has Olympic Dream After Cardiff Workout



Welsh marathon star Dewi Griffiths hopes his latest outing at Saturday’s Cardiff Cross Challenge will be another step on the journey towards realising his Olympic dream next summer.


The Swansea Harrier was the first Welsh athlete home in a high-quality men’s race at an event which attracted some of the best male and female cross country runners in the world for an action-packed day of racing.


As the sun started to set on another hugely successful Cardiff Cross event, Griffiths spoke of his Olympic ambitions.


“In the spring, my aim is to give myself one go at the Olympic standard and if it works out it works out,” said the Carmarthenshire farmer. “But I want to give myself one honest go.


“So, hopefully in the spring I’ll be on the start line somewhere and be in the shape I want to be so I can give that 2:08 a proper go,” he added, referring to the Great Britain team Olympic qualifying standard, which must be achieved by April next year.


Following a successful track career, which including representing Wales over 10,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 2016 European Championships, Griffiths made a spectacular marathon debut in 2017.


His time of 2:09.49 was the fastest by a British athlete that year and placed him second behind former world record holder Steve Jones on the all-time Welsh marathon list.


However, a mixture of injury and illness has meant Griffiths hasn’t been able to replicate that kind of form over 26 miles, although he did finish 11th representing Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games marathon in Birmingham.


This year’s entrants hailed from around the globe, including Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Australia, Burundi, Rwanda, Sweden, Denmark the Netherlands and Hungary, as well as some of the United Kingdom’s top athletes.


A former winner of the senior men’s race, Griffiths said: “It’s great to be back, running the cross-country in Cardiff. It’s always a great event and it was nice to see everyone and all the local clubs across South Wales. And then you’ve got your global stars. It’s a real leveller of where you’re at!


“It’s one of the first dates you look for . . . when is Cardiff Cross? And then you put it in your diary.


“As a Welshman you want to work towards it and run well in front of a home crowd and hopefully beat some of the big names. The support I get on the way around makes it worth all the effort I put in.”


Griffiths is a big fan of the inclusivity of the event, which sees club athletes of all abilities rub shoulders with global stars.


“Cross country is cross country. It’s athlete versus athlete. There’s no fancy stuff. It’s muddy, you get your shoes on, and you go. You don’t worry about splits and stuff like that, you just go for as long as you can, as hard as you can, whoever you are.”


Now in its 26th year, the event is the only World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold Label event in the United Kingdom.


The men’s race, where Griffiths finished 25th, was won by Uganda’s Keneth Kiprop, who negotiated the 9,600m course in a time of 28.32. Kenya’s Vincent Mutai was second in 28.35 with Abele Bekele, of Ethiopia third in 29.06.


Despite the multi-national field, the women’s senior race was won by an athlete from closer to home in the shape of Scotland’s Megan Keith.


The European Under-23 5,000m champion left three Ethiopian women in her wake to win by 17 seconds as she cruised home over the 6,400m course in 20:35 with runner-up Likina Amebaw clocking 20:52 followed by Asmerech Anley (20:59) and Meseret Yeshaneh (21:02).


Welsh Commonwealth Games athlete Jenny Nesbitt was the first local runner crossing the line in 15th place. The Pontypridd Roadents athlete said afterwards: “It was fantastic, honestly I think that this is the best that the event has been in all the years that I’ve done it and I’ve done it a lot of times!”





Cardiff Devils won 3-2 at Belfast Giants to gain revenge for a home defeat to the Giants last month.


Devils owed their victory to keeper Ben Bowns who gave a stand-out display, stopping 41 of 43 saves on Saturday night.


Evan Mosey’s opener and a late Cole Sanford double clinched victory for Cardiff while Kohei Sato and Greg Printz were on target for the hosts.