Hannah Brier and brother Joe compete on same night at Commonwealth Games

·3 min read
Hannah Brier and brother Joe compete on same night at Commonwealth Games

Hannah Brier achieved a long-held dream as she and brother Joe competed on the same evening of athletics at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The brother and sister competed in the 400m and 200m semi-finals respectively, although neither was able to clinch a place in the final.

But with a horde of Briers in the crowd at Alexander Stadium and a vocal Welsh support, nothing was going to spoil Hannah’s evening.

“It’s the Briers out in force,” said Hannah, who ran a time of 23.84, while Joe went 47.50 approximately an hour later.

“There are a lot of them in the stadium as well, they are all walking around with Team Brier shirts on which is really embarrassing but it’s brilliant. It’s amazing to compete with my brother and to be together in the same session, warming up at the same time.

“It’s never happened. We never get to do this. This is something that we have targeted for a long time, to make a major Games and run at the same time and we’ve done it.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Earlier in the day, Melissa Courtney-Bryant endured a nervy wait but clinched her place in the final of the women’s 1500m.

A surprise bronze medallist in Gold Coast four years ago, Courtney-Bryant has had a rough time over the past 18 months.

And it looked like more disappointment when she finished sixth in her heat, with just the top five qualifying automatically.

That left her hoping that the second heat would be slower, and in the end her time of 4:14.46 was quick enough to reach Sunday’s final, fulfilling an ambition that has been driving her over the past 12 months.

She said: “In February 2021, I got a Welsh record, 4.04, but in that race I got a partial tear in my plantar. I felt something but kept running.

“Warming down, it was really sore. I spent seven weeks not running, five in a boot. I pushed to get back for the Olympics and two weeks before the trials, I fully ruptured my plantar. It was two weeks before the trials. It popped so I couldn’t put weight on it and I just fell.

“I then spent three and a half months without running. I had six weeks at least in a boot. That was a lot of time not running.

“I remember this time last year, I was in the pool on the day of the final and that was my motivation. Everyone was at the Olympics and I could see what day it was. It was a year to the day until the final, and I was in the pool on my own. That got me through that training, wanting to be here in front of this home crowd, as close as we can get to Cardiff.”

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