Malcolm targeting 200m final

EASING THROUGH: Newport’s Christian Malcolm, centre, qualifying for the 200m semi-final

EASING THROUGH: Newport’s Christian Malcolm, centre, qualifying for the 200m semi-final

First published in Sport

CHRISTIAN Malcolm can’t see himself climbing the Olympic podium in the 200m at London 2012 – but that isn’t stopping him aiming to be part of what he believes will be a historic final.

The 33-year-old took to the track at the Olympic Stadium for the first time this morning for the heats of the 200m and looked comfortable enough as he advanced to the semi-finals.

He clocked 20.59seconds to finish second in the third of seven heats and place equal 18th overall while fellow Brit James Ellington bombed out and was at a loss to explain how or why.

Malcolm will return for the semi-finals tomorrow night, where he is in no doubt Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Christophe Lemaitre will be among those that progress to the final.

However, Malcolm is adamant he can be among them too – and history would suggest that’s a possibility having finished fifth in the 200m in two of his previous three Olympic campaigns.

“For me I always try to make it to the final. As you can tell and see it is not going to be easy. I always felt like the 200m was going to be a lot more competitive than the 100m,” said Malcolm.

“And it shows that there are a lot of talented sprinters in the field. So, I will see how it goes. I expected a little bit more but I’m not an early morning person and the main thing was to qualify.

“I’m getting a bit older so for me each round will be run like a final, but one thing you can count on is that I will be competitive.

“We might see something special from Bolt, Lemaitre and Blake.

“I think those will be the three main guys to be honest with you and also Wallace Spearmon. You can’t write him off. It will be interesting after that.”

Malcolm’s personal best of 20.08 would have seen him qualify as the first fastest – however that was run in 2001, suggesting such performances are long gone.

But with his initial nerves now gone, Malcolm is adamant he can at least better his qualifying time of 20.59, even if he doesn’t do enough to reach the final.

“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way.

“It’s nerve-racking being in the stadium with so many people supporting,” he added.

“But I have a hunger for the sport, I love athletics, I love what I do.

“I feel that I have got a lot more in my legs, so we will have to wait and see what happens.

“The track is very quick. The track is beautiful.”

l Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/ london2012

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