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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Stawell Gift placegetter looking good for Comm Games

Stawell Gift placegetter looking good for Comm Games

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By Damian Spellman,
Press Association Sport
30 September 2010

Welsh sprinter Christian Malcolm has predicted that the race for Commonwealth Games gold will be even more intense without the big guns.

A procession of big names, led by Jamaican superstars Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, will not be in Delhi when the games start next week, with withdrawals having overshadowed the final preparations for the event.

However, Malcolm, who will look to add to the surprise 200 metres silver he collected at the European Championships in Barcelona in July, believes that will not make his task any easier.

The 31-year-old said: ''I suppose the big names are not there, so it does make it a lot more open.

''But I still believe it will be tougher than the Europeans were because there will be a lot of guys who will think the same as I will be thinking, that the big guys are not there, so it is a great opportunity.

''Even though the big names are not there, there are still a lot of athletes there who could win this title, so for me it is just getting to the championships in the best possible form I can and performing on the day.''

Malcolm and his Wales team-mates are currently completing their preparations in Doha before heading for India, and the former world junior champion is currently free of the injury problems which have hampered him formuch of his career to date.

That is good news for a man who catapulted himself on to the big stage by claiming silver in the Commonwealth Games 200m as a 19-year-old in Kuala Lumpur 12 years ago.

His latest achievement was all the more creditable as it came after he lost his lottery funding last year, a blow which prompted him to seriously consider his future in the sport.

Malcolm explained: ''It was only for that period when I was trying to get myself back. Financially, things were tough and I was getting injured, and you ask the question can you go on?

''I am at the stage now in my life where my family does come first and if I can't provide for them, then it is always going to be tough, but we managed to work through it.

''I was one of those testing times I suppose a lot of people do get in their careers when there is a question asked, and I think I have answered it this season so far.

''I wouldn't say I surprised myself. I have never doubted my talent, I have always known my talent, I have always known how good I am.

''I have always said, as long as I am injury-free, at my best, I can mix it with some of the best in the world.

''For the Europeans, I felt in pretty good shape going in Barcelona and I knew as long as I stayed in one piece, then I could do a bit of damage.''

Malcolm very nearly did more damage with Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre just pipping him by one hundredth of a second on the line, although looking back, he insists he could have done little more.

He said: ''I ran through the line. I leaned, but I didn't feel Lemaitre one bit. It was when we were actually at the line that I felt him, and even then, I thought, 'did he or didn't he?'.''

Two months on, Malcolm is confident he remains in good shape, but is making no predictions for Delhi.

He added: ''I don't like to make predictions. It's the same as always, nothing changes for me. I will get myself into the best possible shape on that day.

''At the moment, training is going pretty well, I am pleased with the way my training camp is going so far, and I am looking forward to next week.''

Malcolm was 3rd in the 2003 Stawell Gift behind Joshua Ross.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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