Trackspeed1 sprinter James Ellington is off to the World Championships next Sunday (14th), and he is under no illusions about the job lying ahead of him after his Diamond League 200m today (6th) at Crystal Palace.
Competing on home turf as the local lad, the romantic end would have been a performance to savour, a personal best, a few scalps... But in reality that represented a huge ask after a UK Championships weekend just six days earlier had emptied his tanks.
Qualification for the Worlds amounted to James' most outstanding achievement yet, in an illustrious track career, but this weekend was a step too far as he fought to a creditable seventh in the 200m, won by fastest man in the world this year Walter Dix (20.16s), with James clocking 21.03s, albeit not forgetting the -2.0 headwind.
The relay leg at the end of the meeting while representing one of two senior British teams was another story though, as James ran a blinder of a bend on third leg, ensuring they were the first British team home. It was a performance that did not go unnoticed by team coaches, and the general thoughts now are that this 25-year-old could be running himself into a team spot at the World Championships, in Daegu, South Korea, later this month.
"Let's get real here," said coach John Powell afterwards, "this guy has fulfilled a dream in getting to the Worlds, and to ask for another peak perormance six days later was pushing it. At the end of the day, his improvement this year has been immense. He's competed in two Diamond Leagues for a start, and become a regular in the British Senior relay squad, quite apart from PB's in the sprints. And we still have Daegu to come!"
Also in action at the Palace was Trackspeed1's European Junior 200m Champion, David Bolarinwa, who anchored the British Junior relay team home in the 4x100m relay, but unfortunately that team were disqualified for a faulty change.
Check out this blog for progress and updates from Tallinn as David returns to the track where he struck European Gold last month, this Tuesday, and then next week as coach John Powell flies out to Daegu to support James in the World Championships