Berlin-bound: Sprinter Leon Reid. Photo courtesy of the University of Bath
FORMER Bristol & West AC athlete Leon Reid will be running in the Berlin 2018 European Championships next week after his protracted transfer of allegiance from Great Britain to Ireland was approved today (Friday).
Bath-born Reid, who is coached by James Hillier at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village, has been in limbo for the past two-and-a-half years after the IAAF put a freeze on international transfers shortly after he had made his application.
Reid was unable to compete at the London 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, despite setting the qualifying time, but will finally be able to make his Ireland debut at the European Championships after the transfer was adjudged to have met the new criteria agreed by the IAAF last week.
Reid, whose mum Claire Russell is a Teaching Fellow in the School of Management at the University, is delighted to finally put the saga behind him.
“It’s taken a while – only two and a half years! – but it’s been well worth the wait,” he said.
“The Europeans are next week but I’ve been training towards them and I’m ready to go.
“I’ve had a lot of support over the past few years from my coach James Hillier, my training group and Team Bath. I’ve been training here for eight years now and I don’t know where I would be without these facilities, I’d have probably given up by now.
“I have to say thank you to my mum as well, she went through all the legislation and made sure we had every single detail sorted.”
Reid, who represented Britain at Junior and U23 level, has been selected in the 100m and 200m – the event in which he won bronze for Northern Ireland at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“The aim is to make the finals and see what happens – I showed at the Commonwealth Games that anything can happen once you are there,” he said.
Reid is the 16th University-based sportsperson to be selected for the multi-sport European Championships, which began on Thursday and are being staged in Glasgow and Berlin until Sunday, August 12.
Representing Great Britain in the athletics championships are two of Reid’s training partners, MJ Church Ambassador David King and Sports Performance graduate Cameron Chalmers, along with Olympic and World medallists Emily Diamond and Eilidh Doyle.