Trackspeed1 UK's youngest sprinter, 15-year-old Fawwaz Okunola, has hit form just at the right time as he warms up for the highlights of hi summer track season.
Competing in an open meeting at Lee Valley last Wednesday he clocked one of the fastest times in the UK for an under-17 over 200 metres of 22.03s, adding a 10.86s 100 metres sprint over the shorter distance.
Both performances were lifetime bests, an both came just before the qualifying London Schools Championships, where selection is finalised for the prestigious English Schools Championships.
The London event, at Battersea Park, suffered from cold headwinds which slowed all the sprinters down, but Fawwaz held off traditionally strong opposition in the sprints to win the 100m final in a hand-timed 10.9s. He opted out of the 200m to protect an aching hamstring.
"Fawwaz has progressed exceedingly well since he joined the squad," said his coach John Powell, "and this is having only really trained with us for half the winter. Next time round he will be stronger and fitter, so his potential is very real."
It was a clean sweep of medals for Trackspeed1 UK sprinters in the Londons, with training partner Frederick Afrifa securing 200m gold in the under-17 final after a super bend that swept most of the opposition away in the first half of the race. He clocked 22.6s into a fierce breeze, although Powell assured him afterwards that this was nowhere near where he could be.
"Frederick suffered a niggle in his hip at just the wrong time during his preparation," John explained, "and that has affected the end result in his running this summer. He is a potential sub-22 second 200m athlete now, never mind in the future, and it's just tragic that he hasn't yet been able to reproduce the form that promised to take him to the World Youth Championships for Italy later this summer."
The third Trackspeed1 UK athlete taking part at Battersea had dragged himself out of his sick bed t ensure his English Schools place was assured. Nathan Gilbert had been posting personal bests over 100 metres all season, but contracted a flu bug at the beginning of the week.
Although described by his coach as 'rather rough' his performance was sufficient to make him a virtual certainty for the Birmingham nationals, after he cinched silver in the Senior Boys final in a rapid 10.8s which was pretty much level with his personal best 10.73, although the latter was wind-assisted!
Just 48 hours later some of the Trackspeed1 UK Academy athletes braved the coldest night of June so far at Norman Park, Bromley. The highlight here were two personal bests by Peter Olusakin who clocked wind legal times of 11.95s and 24.53s.