The European Championships 10,000m fifth-placer has his sights set on the London 2017 World Championships
Welsh distance runner Dewi Griffiths says he’s using the motivation he’s gained from marginally missing a medal at the European Championships to drive him into the winter as he eyes up the London 2017 World Championships.
Griffiths, competing in a major championship on the track in a British vest for the first time, finished fifth in the 10,000m in Amsterdam, little more than two seconds behind Spain’s Antonio Abadia in third.
The 25-year-old Swansea Harrier was well in contention at the bell before the Spaniard and Dmytro Lashin from Ukraine kicked away down the back straight, though a 28:28.55 PB for Griffiths offered a measure of consolation.
The Amsterdam experience was overwhelmingly more positive than his first major championship outing where Griffiths was the final finisher over 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years ago, clocking a hugely disappointing 31:28.81 – albeit off the back of a stress fracture.
“There was a lot of promise,” Griffiths said, reflecting on his outdoor season. “It’s another step in the right direction. I still see myself as a work in progress and I’m not the finished article.
“It gives hope and motivation for the future. I know I’m getting closer. It’s now not a big step to the next stage. It’s just a couple of little steps.
“To hit the bell in the Europeans with three of us going for one medal, and then not getting that medal is only going to drive me to work harder. I know that I’m getting closer to the best in Europe and hopefully even better one day.
“Seeing people that you’ve raced all winter also making the Olympics in Rio, it’s definitely what I want to be a part of. It’s motivational for me to take the next step.”
As a regular feature on the domestic and international cross-country circuit, Griffiths is eyeing up another successful winter on the mud, with his sights set on making the British team for the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy, before attempting to retain his inter-counties title in Loughborough next year.
This time last year the Welshman had both on his mind, along with making the British team for the World Half-marathon Championships in Cardiff, topping the Run Britain road race series, competing for top spot in the British Athletics Cross Challenge and then eventually chasing qualifying times in the early outdoor season.
With a more streamlined competitive programme for the coming months, Griffiths hopes fewer big targets will go some way to helping him take the next step and qualify for the British team to compete at the World Championships in less than 12 months’ time.
He added: “It was a hectic, busy year and mentally quite taxing at times. I was constantly chasing something. That is probably what I’ll change for this year … I won’t set so many goals. I’ll pick the one and just go for it.”