December 8, 2021

Jake Smith: Welsh half-marathon record holder pledges allegiance to England

Spread the love
‘I started crying in Seb Coe’s arms’ – record-breaker Jake Smith

Long-distance runner Jake Smith has switched allegiance to England – six weeks after breaking the Welsh half-marathon record.

Bermuda-born Smith, 22, was eligible for Wales having been based in Cardiff, where he studied at Cardiff Met, for three years.

He broke Steve Jones’ 34-year-old Welsh record at October’s World Half Marathon Championships.

“This is a hard decision for me to make,” he said.

“But I feel it’s the right decision.

“I thought at first it was only natural for me to turn Welsh as I live here and have done for the past three years but I feel as though I hadn’t thought it through properly.”

Smith ran one hour 36 seconds to finish 18th in Poland – his first senior race for Great Britain – the third fastest time ever recorded by a British athlete over the distance after Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins.

“The big turning point for me was when I broke Steve Jones’ – a Welsh legend of distance running – Half Marathon record after only being Welsh for four days,” Smith wrote on Instagram.

“As both my parents were born in England and I don’t have any family ties in Wales, I would feel much better representing England at future competitions.

“However, I would like to thank Welsh Athletics for everything they have done for me as their support to date has been incredible.”