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Records smashed at 2024 Ogi Porthcawl 10K

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IT was a record breaking 2024 Ogi Porthcawl with new course times set and the highest number of entrants ever.

Over 5,000 runners signed up to take part across the 10K and Ogi Jogi Junior Races, supported by headline sponsor Ogi for the second year.

For the first time, due to so much interest from young athletes in the Future Challengers event, two waves of the race were held, and there was even a Red Arrows flyover, providing more excitement on the day.

Despite strong winds and rainy conditions opening up race morning, the sun made an appearance by late morning bringing bright and breezy conditions to the seaside town.

The fourth staging of the 10K race allowed runners to experience the best of the area, taking in panoramic views across Newton Bay, Trecco Bay and Sandy Bay before racing through Trecco Bay Holiday Park and Coney Beach Pleasure Park.

They then journeyed through the heart of the town before catching a view of Rest Bay and the famous Porthcawl Lighthouse on their sprint to the finish line, located on the Lower Promenade for the first time to give runners a unique opportunity to complete the race with unspoilt sea views at the Town Beach.

07.07.24 – Ogi Porthcawl 10k –

Omar Ahmed took the title in the men’s race setting a new course time of 29:08 – shaving 47 seconds of the previous record set by Josh Griffiths in 2019 and securing his third win in as many races in the Run 4 Wales 10K Series.

Ahmed: “I was feeling good but at the beginning of the race it was windy, it was raining and very wet, so I was a bit scared – but eventually I managed to get warm and I’m so happy to win.”

Welshman Dewi Griffiths was hot on his heels securing second place with a time of 29:15 and previous course record holder Josh Griffiths took third with 29:48.

Griffiths added: “I’ve had a turbulent week and have been on antibiotics most of the time but I decided to run on Friday, to give it a go and see what happens. I felt alright out there until Omar kicked in at about 8K and that was it then. But I’ve finished over a minute quicker than I did last year, so I’m happy with that and now looking forward to finishing off the series strong.”

In the women’s race it was Alaw Evans who claimed the top spot in 34:50, followed by Louise Small (35:26) and Eden O’Dea (36:18) in third.

Women’s winner, Evans said: “It was really windy and I forgot how many hills there were so I just ran my own race. I got to 7K and saw the leader so thought I’d just keep doing my own thing and I managed to catch up with her. There was really good support all around the course and I had a few local guys in the group around me who were encouraging with all the cheers – it was great all round.”

A successful Ogi Jogi Toddler Dash, Future Challengers race and Fun Run rounded off the day.

Matt Newman, Run 4 Wales Chief Executive, said: “This year’s Ogi Porthcawl 10K has been our biggest yet. We’re so pleased to have the support of the local community who come out in their droves to support and help provide such a friendly race day atmosphere.

“A huge thank you also goes to our title sponsor, Ogi, for all of their support as well as our other partners including Brecon Carreg, High 5, Bridgend Ford, Bridgend County Borough Council, Coopah and Capital FM, who without the event just wouldn’t be possible.”

Ogi’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Allwright, added: “Events like the Ogi Porthcawl 10K bring out the best of the community – something we relish here at Ogi. There’s been a real pace, energy and excitement in and around Porthcawl today. Well done to all the runners, jogis and plodders, and a big ‘diolch’ to everyone in the town for putting on yet another successful event. We couldn’t be prouder of our connection with Porthcawl.”

Those are feeling inspired to take part in next year’s event can find out more by visiting porthcawl10K.co.uk or for those who’d like to take part in the last event of the 2024 Run 4 Wales 10K Series, entries are still open for the CDF 10K. Find out more on cardiff10k.cymru/

Elite men’s results:

1. Omar Ahmed (Birchfield Harriers): 29:08

2. Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers): 29:15

3. Josh Griffiths (Swansea Harriers): 29:48

4. Seyfu Jamaal (London Heathside): 29:51

5. Jack Millar (Bristol & West AC): 30:13

Elite women’s results:

1. Alaw Evans (Les Croupiers RC): 34:50

2. Louise Small (Aldershot, Farnham & District): 35:26

3. Eden O’Dea (Deeside AAC): 36:18

4. Donna Morris (Builth & District RC): 36:29

5. Kate Roberts (Swansea Harriers): 36:41

View full results here.

News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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Politics

Culture secretary vows push to keep free-to-air Six Nations games

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WALES’ culture secretary vowed to make the case for keeping Wales’ Six Nations games on free-to-air TV to her Labour colleagues in the new UK Government.

Lesley Griffiths told the Senedd she will be seeking a meeting with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss the issue.

Ms Griffiths said: “Making the Six Nations free-to-air ensures that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, can feel part of this shared experience.

“This inclusivity strengthens community bonds and fosters a sense of belonging.”

Responding to a debate on a Senedd culture committee report on broadcasting rights, the culture secretary said she would write to the UK Government by the end of this week.

Delyth Jewell chairs the culture committee, which held an inquiry on whether Wales’ matches should be added to Ofcom’s list of events that must be shown on terrestrial TV.

The Plaid Cymru politician said: “A perfect storm of market dynamics in broadcasting live sport has seen more and more events go behind a paywall.

“Public service broadcasters are facing significant budgetary constraints, be this from long-term cuts to the licence fee, or a downturn in the advertising market on broadcast television. Increasing production costs are compounding both these factors.

“The advent of global streaming services also means that the value of sports broadcasting rights has increased.”

The Welsh Rugby Union told the inquiry that moving matches to the protected list could have a devastating medium- and long-term impact on the whole game in Wales.

Media rights account for £20m of the WRU’s £90m total revenue, with the union calling for open competition to maximise income for the game.

Carolyn Thomas, the Labour MS for North Wales, recognised this tension but warned: “There is a real risk here that avoiding action will leave us dropping the ball. We must ensure future generations can connect with the game without having to shell out for the privilege.”

She added: “Let’s hope, with the new UK Labour Government, we will be in a safe pair of hands and we get protected, free-to-air Six Nations coverage over the line.”

Heledd Fychan called for matches to be broadcast on S4C, rather than having a Welsh viewing option on platforms such as Amazon Prime.

The Plaid Cymru MS, who represents South Wales Central, pointed out that Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has been appointed a junior DCMS minister as she urged Labour to act.

Samuel Kurtz raised concerns about the 8% interest rate the WRU is paying on an £18m coronavirus business interruption loan scheme from the Welsh Government.

Pointing out that the rate was fixed at 2% for English premiership sides, the Tory MS said: “I think that’s a financial constraint that’s hurting our professional clubs here in Wales.”

Caerphilly MS Hefin David joked that he has a lot in common with former PM Rishi Sunak – “as my dad wouldn’t let us have Sky either, and we had to listen to it on the radio”.

He called for a ‘Plan B’ for the hospitality industry if rugby goes behind a paywall, including a contractual clause to give small pubs and clubs a reduced pay-to-view subscription.

Dr David said he watches Wales matches at Gilfach workmen’s club, which pays £514 a month for Sky, as he raised concerns about venues having to buy multiple subscriptions..

“Well, Gilfach workies simply can’t afford that,” he said.

Alun Davies, a fellow Labour backbencher, said: “We need to address the real crisis in Welsh rugby and that is ensuring that the game exists for future generations, and I believe that exposure to the Six Nations championship is fundamental to that.”

The Blaenau Gwent MS raised the example of Glamorgan cricket.

He said: “It does raise fears within me that the more we take the game away from the screens, the more we take it away from our communities and from the people who enjoy watching the game, and the less it becomes our national sport.”

The culture committee’s inquiry was sparked after John Whittingdale, a Conservative former culture minister, left the door open last autumn while giving evidence.

Sir John told the meeting: “We’ve always said that if the Welsh Parliament argued very strongly that, for the good of sport in Wales, we needed to look again at the listed events, we would look at it, certainly. So, it’s not closed.’

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