Saturday, 19 September 2015


After varying periods of rest and recovery from the past year's efforts, a new dawn breaks for Trackspeed1-UK as a number of new faces line up for squad training this autumn.

It's another strong group to follow in the footsteps of the 2014/15 squad, virtually all of whom set personal best performances during the summer months.  And with only 3 departures post-season, a much yearned-for element of consistency finally exists as well.

One of the most disappointing departures is that of Niclas Baker, whose progress over 400m after lengthy winter injury issues, lined him up as a real prospect, but his commitment to Leeds University necessarily drew him away from London for the next academic year.
Niclas Baker - will be a sorely missed member of the group
The flip side of that coin though will be the addition of new faces who will line up much potential for 2016 - another Olympic Year - and a season that sees added sources of inspiration and motivation to succeed.

"It's a real mixed bunch this year," said Head Coach, John Powell.  "Obviously it's disappointing to see people go, especially as virtually none over many years have ever improved after seeking pastures new.  It'll never happen, but there needs to be far better regulation of athletes' affiliation with coaches.

"A classic example is a sprinter who swore allegiance to the group for 2015/16, had me set up a work programme with a local university biomechanics lab' to supplement his core training, but then days later promptly departed to another coach.  Athletes have no respect these days and that represents a massive frustration for me, not to mention the other coaches who gleefully take them on.  I mean, if you're improving, why the bla-de-bla do you want to change!"

On a far more positive note, however, one of the brighter hopes for 2016 will be Dean Hylton, who was hugely frustrated to see a spectacular lifetime best 10.26 fail to make official ranking lists due to meeting registration and officials issues.

"Dean will simply have to prove it again," said John.  "He's a massive talent and will doubtless improve if he gets his teeth into the winter programme - something he's not all that used to up until now!"
Dean Hylton - potentially the most improved
British sprinter of 2015!
Hylton was not the only athlete who lost out on a personal best being recorded at the same meeting, but the squad will take some consolation in having effectively produced the most improved sprinter in the country for the second consecutive year!

Squad stalwart, Jason Hussain, who has trained with the group for over ten years now, missed out on the elusive sub-21-second 200 metres in 2015, and may opt to have a crack at 400m in 2016, although the temptation of having one more go at running sub-21 may prove to be too much!

"Jason has been worth a sub-21 200m for years," John added, "but circumstances simply haven't been kind to him - not least in 2008 when he was treated for Cancer, but even then he was back on the track training just 20 days after finishing a course of chemotherapy.  If only all athletes were that dedicated!"

Another potential sub-21 athlete could be 30-year-old Dwayne Dowding.  All sorts of issue during 2015 that prevented him from really fulfilling his potential are now in the past, and a full winter's work could see him join the upper echelons of sprinting in 2016.

The range of abilities is wider this year, with 10.26 filing down to high 11-point-high, plus two new female additions at under-17 level for development work.

Jason Hussain - enters his 11th year with Trackspeed1-UK

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