Sunday, 31 May 2015


Another lifetime best - the third this year already - took Trackspeed1-UK sprinter Jason Hussain to within a whisker of his ultimate objective for the 200 metres, at the Bedford International Games today (Sunday 31st May).

On a cold and blustery day in the Midlands, the 28-year-old Crawley AC athlete stormed home in 21.12 seconds - a time tantalisingly close to his dream of cracking the so far elusive 21-second barrier.
Jason Hussain (orange top, lane 6) dips for the line at Bedford, to
record the fastest 200 metres of his life.
There was clearly more to come as again he failed to capitalise on his start, and he tightened significantly over the final 40 metres.  He has, however, progressed impressively well already this season, and with the right conditions, the talk at Bedford was that it is literally only a matter of time before he produces that magical 20-point performance.

"It's been ten years," said coach John Powell, "and at long last he has adopted a lifestyle that has begun to unlock the talent we all knew he had.  He's lost a bit of weight, strung a decent winter together, and now is reaping the benefits, which are richly deserved."

On the same day, newly crowned Surrey Junior 400m champion, Fred Afrifa, couldn't quite emulate the form he showed at Kingston seven days earlier, but still ran a solid 49.58 seconds - his second fastest ever.

It's a critical few weeks for the 18-year-old from Croydon now though.  Next week he runs in the British League for his Crawley club, aiming to crack his 200 metres best which currently stands at 22.09, and then the following week he flies to Rieti, Italy, to take part in the domestic junior championships and European Junior Championship trials.
Fred Afrifa sets off on his 400m at Bedford
Fred's Italian nationality offers him the opportunity of competing at a major championship, whereas at present it would be a tall order to make the British team, but he will first have to decide whether to run 200m or 400m, making this coming league race a fairly critical event.

"Fred could possibly make the team as an individual if he shaves a bit off his 200m time," said John Powell, "but he is in a very strong position to claim a 4x400m relay squad place too.  If he runs the 200 and fails to qualify he may blow his chances of going to the championships at all, although I don't see that happening."

Also in action in Bedford was Trackspeed1-UK's Nathan Gilbert, who struggled in the first round of the 100m, clocking a disappointing 10.84s, but the second round saw some improvement with a 10.77s run.   It spelled consistency for the 20-year-old though, who has been ravaged by injury of late, and both athlete and coach are convinced there is far better to come as the season progresses.

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