One-lap legend on his favorite coaching session and why Matt Hudson-Smith can spearhead a 400m revival in Britain
Did you like to signify Nice Britain or Wales?
I’ve obtained to watch out about what I say right here now as a result of it’s a British viewers, proper? Wales every single day of the week! The rationale for that, and I’m a really passionate Welsh particular person, is that placing on that purple vest for Wales was unbelievable. I by no means obtained to place it on in rugby and I went to numerous rugby video games. To place that purple vest on, you get a tremendous feeling of delight.
Clearly, I cherished competing for Staff GB on the Olympics and that was sensational however I feel the Commonwealth Video games for me have been those the place you bought to signify your nation. I really most well-liked the Commonwealths over the Olympics as a result of they have been extra enjoyable.
The Commonwealths is an excellent competitors to contain a lot of international locations [which might not usually have that chance]. I do know it had a little bit of a lull however Birmingham it’s gone again up there to the place it must be. Victoria 1994 was my first senior worldwide competitors and, wow, that was an ideal competitors.
Do you suppose you went too early within the Olympic 1996 relay when Nice Britain gained silver? You left USA’s Alvin Harrison for lifeless down the again straight!
No, I don’t! I’ve a tremendous story to inform you about it. Iwan Thomas had a tremendous leg to start out off with and I obtained the baton from him in entrance of 100,000 folks and a billion watching at dwelling. I used to be working around the bend and Alvin Harrison was on the within and as he ran spherical the primary bend he stated “oh yeah child!” and he was chatting with me. I’m considering “you possibly can’t disrespect the British” so after I bumped into the again straight I used to be going to get him.
As I went previous him I went “meep meep” like roadrunner and he checked out me. I used to be so cheesed off that he was disrespecting me so I wished to point out him what I had. Sadly, he went previous me on the dwelling straight after I hit a little bit of lactic however I did run a quick leg. The American staff have been at all times going to do nicely they usually have been the favourites. We broke the British, European and Commonwealth 4x400m report that day and it actually confirmed what we did.
Once I look again 26 years later I feel that was insane we went that quick. I don’t remorse something and it was a kind of issues.
What was your best coaching session?
There have been so many good ones. I favored doing 4 200ms, the place you’d do one and have two minutes relaxation earlier than the following. In my coaching group we had Linford Christie, John Regis, Frankie Fredericks and Darren Campbell.
I used to be in lane two on the final rep. Ron Roddan, who was our coach, stated he wished the bend in 10.5 and my PB for 100m was solely 10.6 on the time! It seemed like an Olympic closing and I hurtled around the flip went down the house straight and crossed the road first. As I approached the road I may hear Ron going “18, 19, 20” and I knew on that run that I ran a low to mid 20 seconds over 200m.
Two weeks later I entered the British Indoor Championships and gained it with a 20.8, in order that was productive!
What was it like racing in entrance of a packed crowd at a house championships on the Manchester Commonwealth Video games in 2002?
Wow, it was superb. These guys who’ve competed in Birmingham can have cherished it. , sadly for me in 2002 I obtained injured and I got here again for the relay – which I nonetheless suppose we gained, by the way in which, though they are saying England beat us by one thousandth of a second – and it was a tremendous competitors. The house crowds are at all times the most effective and everytime you journey wherever on this planet you at all times have a British contingent behind you.
Everybody in Birmingham would’ve cherished it! I’m smiling at eager about Manchester and the alternatives that each one the blokes have had.
What do you make of 400m working in Britain at present and may we replicate the relay success of the Nineties with the subsequent technology?
I feel, over the previous 15-20 years, the occasion has taken a little bit of lull. I didn’t realise on the time how magical it was to race with folks like Roger Black, Mark Richardson and Iwan Thomas. Individuals who ran low 45 seconds weren’t getting wherever!
There have been so many superb athletes on the market and success bred success. I ran fourth on the Olympic trials and ran a excessive 44.
I’m glad I used to be in that period nevertheless it’s so nice to see Matt Hudson-Smith and what he’s achieved. Once I first noticed him I believed “flipping heck, this man is sweet” and now he’s bounced again he’s on the spearhead of 400m working on this nation. I feel you’ll see a development now of individuals doing issues which might be particular.
I wish to see folks breaking our data and working quicker than we did, particularly with the know-how and surfaces. They need to be pushing on and I used to be so delighted to see Matt get a medal on the World Championships. He wanted it and the game did, too.
» This text first appeared within the August challenge of AW journal. To subscribe, CLICK HERE