James's World Championship campaign may have been brief, but when his achievements of 2011 are seen in the perspective of the bigger picture, boy, what a season!
James had a potentially career-terminating injury in June 2010, and he has confounded even the most optimistic of coaches' predictions this year in not only coming back from that hamstring tear, but rising to the form of his life, with the ultimate reward of a berth i the World Championships in South Korea.
His season is far from finished though. Al;ready he has contested the Diamond League in Zurich last Thursday, running a blistering leg for Britain's sprint relay team. James burst out of the blocks on first leg, passing on to a renewed British quartet involving Craig Pickering, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis. Finishing second behind World Record holders Jamaica was an outstanding performance, and stood in stark contrast to the disaster a few days earlier in Korea (which did not involve James!)
In the 100m James didn't quite hit his drive phase right and clocked a winning 10.40s, but he will have another crack at the individual spring in Zagreb's IAAF Grand Prix this Tuesday.
Meanwhile, James's training colleagues have all hung up their spikes for the season, and are taking a well-deserved rest before recommencing training in October.
"Everyone gets together for session one on October 9th," explained coach John Powell, "but every athlete will need to be doing some preparation training well before that with the possible exception of James, who will need a later rest period."
Another late performer of 2011 was 16-year-old Omari Carr-Miller, whose 48.66s personal best over 400m in the age-group national championships last month was outstanding given his chequered injiury history stretching back two years.
"Omari has immense talent," said John, "and he and I have already met twice to discuss a strategy for the coming year that will hopefully see him get into serious shape for 2012, and keep him free of injury."
Trackspeed1's profile alters slightly each year, and this year sees the welcome return of squad old boy Andrew Matthews. An athlete who PB'd last time he was in the squad as a junior, and who went to European Junior Championships to, hasn't quite clicked since, and decided to return to his old squad to see if he could rekindle some of the old talent.
Now 25, the time could well be right to peak in a year that could see additional international opportunities for athletes not targeting the Olympics, including the European Championships.
|Former British junoior and Under-23 sprinter,|
Andrew Matthews, is rejoining Trackspeed1