HEIDI Davies underlined her potential for future stardom with a superb display at last weekend’s World Mountain Running Association International Youth Cup.
The Llandrindod Wells teenager ended the event in eighth spot, making her the first Welsh and also the first British runner to complete the gruelling Italian course of Arco di Trento.
This year’s event saw a Wales team compete against a record number of entries from other nations including Italy, USA, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.
The teams competed on the course from Arco and climbed to the Renghera tower that dominates Alto Garda, from the top of the fortress that houses the Castle of Arco.
From there it descends to an olive grove and the second climb of the day before diving towards the centre of town.
The Welsh girls’ team was led by Davies who has emerged through the successful Brecon Athletics Club.
Davies narrowly missed out on selection for the GB Junior Women’s Mountain Running Team for the European Championships and had to be content as a reserve.
However Davies proved her pedigree on the slopes of the Italian mountains, finishing eighth overall, the top British entry, while Wales ended ninth.
Davies said: “It was a fantastic experience to compete in my first event at world level.
“I was really pleased with my result as this is only my third mountain race.
“I am looking forward to returning to the event next year with more training and experience under my belt.”
The next event over the hills for Davies is the British Athletics Mountain Running Championships in Sedberg, in August, where she will once again be one of the youngest competitors on the course.
The event also acts as the trial for the GB Team for the World Mountain Running Championships to be held in Italy in September.
Davies said: “It will be a tough race for me to be competitive but it is a good learning experience as it will be my first uphill only race.”