CHRISTIAN Malcolm is likely to be extending his athletics career beyond the Olympic Games, the Newport ace’s long-time mentor Jock Anderson has said.
Malcolm, 33, said he wanted the London extravaganza to be his swansong after doing the ‘Grand Tour’ of Commonwealth Games, World Championships and European Championships in the last three years.
He lost his Lottery funding, spending a time struggling to make ends meet before the powers that be at UK Athletics began supporting him again.
And last weekend at Cwmbran Stadium, just before Malcolm went to Portugal with the rest of Team GB’s athletics squad for their final preparations, Anderson sat down with the sprinter and may have talked him into another two years on the circuit.
Anderson, who has been Malcolm’s mentor and sharpest critic since they met years ago at Newport Harriers, said: “It’s not certain he will carry on but he’s still got a couple years left in him. I think I have just about got him talked into giving it another two years until the next Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“We had a good chat about things on Saturday and I told him, if you retire too early, you are stupid.”
Anderson has also given a highly-upbeat report on Malcolm’s form as he heads towards his fourth Olympics.
“I have never seen him look better. He is ready and he doesn’t need to do any more hard work. He just needs to do some light jogging (in Portugal) and that is it,” said the 75-year-old who, despite ill health, was watching the next generation of sprinters at his beloved Newport Harriers this week.
“He is going lovely now. He had a bug which is probably why he didn’t go very well in the last couple of weeks, but he has shaken that off now.”
Malcolm, now coached in London by Dan Pfaff, made the Olympic 200m finals in Sydney 2000 and Beijing, where he ran 20.40secs behind Bolt in the final, while he missed the 2004 Athens Games, despite gaining selection, when he was struck by a kidney disorder.
He has now ran 20.46secs this year, still short of his personal best of 20.08secs, and, while the global competition may be too hot for the Welshman at the moment over 200m, Anderson said: “He will make the semi-finals no problem and then you never know after.”
Meanwhile, London is albaze with ‘Olympomania’, as Mayor Boris Johnson called it on.
The Olympic Park dazzled with an amazing opening ceremony last night but that is not the real reason why people have come from across the world to London.
There is music everywhere, smiles on lots of faces and the brilliant army of volunteers who will make the Olympics go smoothly.
Now roll on the Games and let’s hope for some Welsh ‘golden-ware’ soon.
–Newport-born Gary Baker has been a sports journalist for 25 years and currently owns and runs Wales and West Media, a public relations and jounalism company based in Cardiff Bay.
Gary, who worked on the South Wales Argus sportsdesk for two years in the early part of the Noughties, can be contacted on 07803 974491 or find out more about Wales and West Media on www.walesandwestmedia.co.uk