OWEN SMITH feels that there is light at the end of the tunnel after struggling for motivation when the coronavirus crisis struck.

Smith, who hails from Sychdyn, should be preparing for the start of the outdoor athletics season, with the British Championships originally planned to kick-off on Saturday, June 20 and the Anniversary Games a fortnight later.

Instead, the former Deeside athlete, whose indoor season was ruined by hamstring and Achilles tears, is forced to train in isolation away from the running track.

“This time of year is an exciting time for an athlete,” said 400m runner Smith, who was set to be in Florida at a warm weather training camp from the end of March. “We’d be prepping for an outdoor season. Some people would be away on training camps and it’s exciting gearing up after all of the hard work you’ve put in over the winter months to get to let go, put your foot down and have a bit of fun on the track.

“Ultimately, at the moment we don’t have that option, there are no tracks available and we can’t do what a normal training programme would look like - we are having to adapt it quite heavily dependant on equipment and facilities available.

“It’s a tough time to motivate yourself. You’ve put in all of that hard work in to not really know what you are going to be able to gain from it and you really worry about whether you can maintain it at this time of year.

“I’ve found that I’ve personally struggled with this and I’m now coming to understand that there may be an outdoor season at the end of this year, maybe a few months of racing, and I want to make sure that when tracks open again I am putting myself in the best possible place.

“That is by trying to replicate my sessions as closely as possible and keeping myself as fit and as healthy as possible.”

Cardiff-based Smith, coached by Matt Elias, feels that now is the time for fellow athletes to work on the minor aspects of their particular discipline.

“This is a brilliant time to be able to work on minor aspects of athletics, whether it’s wanting to improve flexibility, ability or meal preparation,” he added.

“It’s a good opportunity to use this time wisely. I know it’s not ideal and we’d much rather be racing, but this is something we are all dealing with and no-one is going to come out of this better off than anyone else.

“My advice would be to stick to your programme as closely as possible, try and set yourself a daily target, whether it’s something completely unrelated to athletics or something you want to achieve from a session. Having little goals makes a session a little more enjoyable.”

Carys Roberts will be receiving an England vest when lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

The West Cheshire Athletic Club youngster finished ninth in the Junior Girls race and was first home for Cheshire at the English Schools Cross Country Championships staged at Sefton Park, Liverpool, in March.

Her top-10 finish would have earned the youngster selection for England at the Schools International Cross Country Relay Championships scheduled to have been held in Scotland.

But the fixture north of the border was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis although Roberts has been told she will receive her vest.