ON the day the Olympic torch arrives in Wales, veteran sprint star Christian Malcolm says he still has the burning ambition to win a medal in London this summer.
The 200m ace from Newport turns 33 next month but looks set to compete in his fourth Olympics and he insists he won’t be there to make up the numbers.
With the UK Trials set for Birmingham from June 22 to June 24, Malcolm is not certain of his place at London 2012 yet but he is determined to make the team and complete his medal collection.
In a career stretching back to the late 1990s, he has won medals at both the junior and senior World Championships and, in a stellar 2010 season, the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.
“An Olympic medal is the one that’s missing from my collection and I’m capable of doing it this year,” said Malcolm.
“I’ve still got that hunger and that belief but first and foremost you’ve got to make the team and there’s going to be stiff competition this year.
“It seems like there is a lot of young talent coming through now and all I can do is use my experience.
“I just take it year by year. I don’t dwell on the fact that I’m older than everyone else.
“The 200m is going to be a lot hotter than the 100m this year. There are a lot of people coming through. You could run 20 seconds flat and not make the final.
“That is unheard of in the past but it could happen this year.”
Malcolm’s personal best over 200m, set in 2001, is 20.08 seconds and he admits he will find it tough to compete with the likes of Usain Bolt, who holds the world record of 19.19 seconds.
But he is only concentrating on his own performances and is happy with his form so far this season.
“It doesn’t bother me what other athletes do,” he said. “It doesn’t mean because they break records they are going to be in the best shape on the day. The most important thing for me as an athlete is to be in the best shape I can be and on the day you never know what is going to happen. People break records all the time – you can’t fear them. I feel good. Training is going really well,” he added. “I had one of the best warm weather training camps I’ve had for years and I’ve come back healthy.
“I think I’ve proved that in the runs I’ve produced so far this season.
“It was great to get through the winter without an injury and hopefully I can do the same through the season.”
After wins in the 200m at the South and East Wales regional Champion-ships in Cardiff and in the 100m last weekend at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, Malcolm is building up to the trials in Birmingham. “It’s a pressure day but it always is every year, there’s no more pressure than usual,” he said.
“It changes for the media because we’ve got a home Olympics but for the athletes it is the same.
“It would be special (to be a four-time Olympian) but I think it is something I’d look back on in the years to come and appreciate it more then.
“As an athlete, each year you just try to make the major championships, do your best and hope to get a medal.”
Malcolm knows that his best chance of a medal this summer is in the 4x100m relay.
“The relay is something I always aim for,” he said. “It’s a bit of fun and something we’ve been fortunate to do well in in recent years.
“This year’s going to be a lot tougher because it’s not just going to be the Americans and the Jamaicans to look out for.
“There’s Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Japan and France have got a strong team with Lemaitre so it’s tough.
“It could be any one of five or six teams which wins the bronze medal so we’ve got to make sure we’re in the mix.”
- Christian Malcolm was pitted against a Golden BMW at the launch of a Golden fleet of cars touring the UK. Follow the convoy at: bmw.co.uk/gold and Spot it. Snap it and Share it to win London 2012 tickets