Barely nine months ago, TS1 Head Coach John Powell was reluctant to keep on Calvin Kirstein with his performances struggling to crack 12 seconds over 100 metres. Come summer 2014 though, John welcomes the opportunity to admit that the Eastbourne Rovers speed man has well and truly rammed his words back down his throat!
|Calvin Kirstein (left) and Jason Hussain proudly show off their 5 medals|
at the Sussex County Championships
"Calvin has become a real example of what can be achieved with a bit of hard work," said John. "He commutes from Eastbourne to Crystal Palace three times a week, and is now showing incredible improvement.
"We take pride in bigging up the internationals in Trackspeed1, and all their achievements in major championships," he continued, but it is almost as satisfying to see someone at the albeit modest county level achieving so well. There's little more satisfying for a coach than seeing an athlete put in really hard work, and then improve well as a result."
Calvin couldn't quite better training partner Jason Hussain though. For it was Hussain, 27, who took gold in both sprints clocking 11.1 and 22.2. Then conditions for the 200m on Saturday were atrocious with headwind and driving rain, while the 100m n Sunday - albeit in sunny dry conditions - suffered a -1.7m/s headwind. It was happy days for Hussain though, who has won countless Sussex titles over the years.
There was a generous bonus for Calvin though, with gold in the 4x100m relay as Eastbourne Rovers streaked away with the Sussex title, making it a pretty satisfying weekend for the 23-year-old who had previously never won a medal at County level.
Elsewhere in the Surrey Championships Matt Threadgold looked set to land a sixth medal for his squad n the 100m final in Kingston, but blocks slipping in the final left him languishing in fourth at the line. He clocked 10.99s, although in the heat he had timed 10.81, albeit assisted by a +2.4 tail wind. Instead it was 17-year-old Renee Ross-Gordon who took bronze in her 200m final clocking 26.4s faced with a 4.4m/s headwind at Kingston - a "far from shabby run..." in her coach's words!
"It's been a pretty positive start to 2014," commented John Powell. "We may have lost some top athletes post-2012, but we are well on the 'up' now, and I reckon we have a couple of dark horses in the group who could raise a few eyebrows this summer.
"Already we have Kieran Daly earning his first ever international at Loughborough, and I reckon Nathan Gilbert will impress too once he gets back fit from recent injury issues. Fred Afrifa has a hamstring injury that will not help is 2014 campaign, but once fit again, the Italian World Juniors squad member could still impress. And there are more where he came from too!
"There are going to be some significant changes that will be aimed at moving Trackspeed1 UK back up a few grades this next winter - watch this blog for details. We have an international reputation and I'm not about to lose that, and we have contacts all over the globe. With the athletes we have, a who knows who else may join the party - the future is looking pretty good!"
|Calvin and Jason mounted the rostrum on exactly|
the same steps twice at Crawley!