STEEPLECHASER Ieuan Thomas will have a third major championships in the space of just over 12 months tomorrow when he steps onto the track at the Alexander Stadium.

A place in the British team for August’s European Championships is the prize on offer to the country’s top athletes in Birmingham this weekend.

The British Championships double up as trials for the Europeans, and Pontypool’s Thomas is nicely placed to book his seat on the plane to Berlin later this summer.

And if he does manage to get there it would cap an already memorable year for the James Thie-coached runner.

Thomas’s first taste of competing on the big stage came last August at the World Championships in London.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make the 3000m steeplechase final on home soil, but eight months on and Thomas was proudly representing his country at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

A seventh place followed in the final Down Under, one position behind teammate Jon Hopkins, and both start tomorrow’s race having attained the qualifying standard for the Euros.

The equation for those hoping to go to Germany is simple, achieve the qualifying mark and finish in the top two this weekend to clinch automatic selection.

Welsh athletes Charlotte Arter (10000m), Bethan Davies and Heather Lewis (both 20k walk) and Caryl Jones (marathon) have already sealed their places in the GB team.

Thomas won bronze at last year’s British Championships, finishing behind winner Rob Mullett and second-placed Zak Seddon.

Seddon and Thomas are ranked one and two in the UK in 2018 and the former is likely to provide the Welshman with his main competition for gold on this occasion.

“I’d expect both steeplechasers (Thomas and Hopkins) to be in the mix for the medals in Birmingham,” said departing head of coaching and performance at Welsh Athletics, Scott Simpson.

“If they run to form then they should add to our four team members so far.”

He added: “We could have as many as eight athletes in the British team in Berlin if things go to plan.

“Dai Greene needs to negotiate two rounds in the 400m hurdles to make the team having clocked 49.59secs in Poland and David Omoregie is showing signs of getting back to his best form in the 110m hurdles.

“He ran 13.79secs in France this month and needs to get down to 13.60 to reach the standard.

“Seren Bundy-Davies is hoping to return to push for a place in the 4x400m relay squad, as is Owen Smith in the men’s race.

“Melissa Courtney has a decision to make as to which event she runs this weekend having qualified in both the 1500m and 5000m.

“She tops the rankings over 5k and is third over 1500, so she is another very strong contender for Berlin.

“If you go back four years there were no Welsh athletes in the British team for the 2014 European Championships, Seren was the only one at the World Championships in Beijing in 2015 and the Rio Olympics in 2016, yet we had five at the World Championships in London last year.”