Newport 1500m runner off on his travels after Glasgow 2014

Newport 1500m runner off on his travels after Glasgow 2014

Newport 1500m runner off on his travels after Glasgow 2014

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT 1500m Chris Gowell will look to build on his encouraging Glasgow 2014 campaign, but only after spending a month in a hut on the other side of the world.

The 28-year-old, who is based in the USA after attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, will return to Wales to see friends and family this week.

Then he’ll set off on a belated honeymoon with wife Juliane as they go travelling around Asia.

“I’m going back to Wales now and then I’m off to Nepal and India to live in a hut for a month or so,” said Gowell after finishing tenth in the 1500m final at the Commonwealth Games.

He was critical of his performance, claiming his inexperience cost him a shot at a medal.

“I am not sure what happened, I just got caught sleeping a bit,” he said.

"I was never in it. It was all mental today. It was a lack of experience. I did not whether to go out in lane three or lane one and it was very difficult.

"It was awesome to make the final but I think that was my downfall. I was just so happy to be there that I don't think I approached it properly.

"I deserved to be in the final so I should have been able to compete.

“But I’ve taken huge encouragement from this year,” he added. “I haven’t run fast but making this final, breaking the Welsh record and consistently being competitive over 1500m has given me a lot of encouragement for next year.

“I’m not really happy with tenth but overall the championship has been really good for me and that’s good enough reason for me to carry on next year.”

Gowell says he enjoyed the experience at Hampden Park despite the driving rain, which caused major delays in the women’s pole vault final featuring Wales’ Sally Peake.

“The atmosphere out there was incredible and I was chuffed and overwhelmed by the great support I got from everyone,” he said.

“My parents and my wife are here as well and everyone has been sending me messages from back home so it’s been incredible.”

In the women’s 5000m final, Welsh star Elinor Kirk finished in 12th place and was pleased with her performance.

“It was a tough race,” she said. “The pace started off really slowly and then picked up quite a lot.

"I tried to stick with the pace as long as I could.

"It would have been nice to finish a bit higher and a faster time but I am pleased with how it went.

"I knew there were going to be girls in that race who were really fast so I was happy I didn't get lapped.

"I wasn't really sure what to expect but I was just happy to be here,” added the 25-year-old from Swansea.

"A year ago I never thought I would be at the Commonwealth Games.

"Hopefully this is the just the start of my athletics career. This is the first year I feel as if I have been able to compete against these girls. The next few years I will get quicker and quicker.”

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