NEWPORT’S newest sprint star Mica Moore can’t wait to experience a first major championship when she represents Wales at the Commonwealth Games next month.
The 21-year-old, who runs for Birchfield Harriers and Cardiff Met University, will be the only Gwent member of the Welsh athletics squad after veteran Christian Malcolm failed to make the cut.
And Moore is among a great crop of young Welsh women sprinters who have made their mark this year.
In conjunction with Hannah Thomas, Hannah Brier and Rachel Johncock she helped to lower the Welsh 4x100m relay record to 45.17 seconds in winning the Loughborough International in May – a time that moved the Welsh team into seventh place on the UK all-time ranking lists.
Those four have been selected for the sprint relay at Glasgow 2014 along with Lucy Evans and Moore couldn’t be happier.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said the former Bassaleg School pupil, who just missed out on the qualifying times for the 100m and 200m individual events.
“The qualifying standards were pretty tough and when I didn’t run 11.5 seconds in the 100m I thought I wouldn’t be going to Glasgow.
“I wasn’t sure they’d take a relay team so I’m really happy that they have decided to take me and the other girls.
“It’s a really good squad and we all know each other well so it will be a great experience.”
Coached by her father, Lawrence, Moore won silver in the 200m at the recent Welsh Championships in 23.92 seconds and bronze in the 100m in 11.82 seconds.
Her time in the 200m was a personal best and she is ranked on the Welsh all-time 100m list with a best time of 11.70 seconds at Loughborough this year.
“I knew on the Tuesday last week and the team wasn’t announced until Friday,” she added.
“Keeping it a secret was hard because I was walking around with a big grin on my face and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone why.
“My family and friends are all really proud and pleased and now they all want tickets!”
Mum Lolita Byfield-Moore, herself a champion veteran sprinter, said: “It’s a bit manic at the moment but we’re so pleased.
“This is the break she needed and it’s reward for all the hard work she’s put in.
“Mica is training hard with the other relay girls before they fly out to a training base in Portugal and then on to Glasgow.
“Lawrence will be out in Portugal as well as her coach and then we’ll both be in Glasgow. Now we just need to get some tickets for her grandparents because we all want to be there to cheer her on.”