NEWPORT’S Christian Malcolm says landing two top awards will help him cope with what he admits has been a “challenging” transition from athlete to coach.

Sprint star Malcolm hung up his spikes in 2014 at the age of 35 and it’s been a difficult few years for the European and Commonwealth Games silver medallist.

But 2017 has seen Malcolm enjoy huge success as coach of the British Athletics relay teams.

The Team GB men won gold at the World Championships in London in August, setting British and European records in the process, while the women won silver.

Then at the IPC Paralympic World Championships, he coached Jordan Howe to silver and Rhys Jones to a personal best in finishing in fourth place.

That success has seen Malcolm pick up two top coaching awards this week.

The former Olympian was one of a three-man coaching staff to be named High Performance Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards.

And on Monday night he was named Coach of the Year at the 2017 Wales Sport Awards.

South Wales Argus:

After the ceremony at the Celtic Manor, Malcolm said: “I came runner-up one year as an athlete to Joe Calzaghe so to win coach of the year is great.

“It’s been a good year.”

But he admits that he has not had it easy since deciding to end his 16-year career as an athlete.

“It’s been challenging,” he said. “I haven’t really spoken about it in public but I had some difficult times when I retired.

“I’ve got to admit, I found it hard. And even now and again I still have issues to deal with.

“It’s not something I’ve made public and it’s nothing major.

“I guess every professional athlete has to deal with these issues and I’ve always been brought up by my parents, and especially my mum, to be strong and put on a brave face – to stay strong for yourself and your family.

“I questioned my achievements,” he added. “I questioned whether I’d failed more than anything and that’s the sad thing.

“The difficult thing is that there’s more about my failure that goes on in my head than my successes and that’s an issue.

“But nights like this really do help. It is rewarding.

“I won the UK Sport’s high performance coach of the year award as well so to win two awards like that is amazing.”

South Wales Argus:

Malcolm revealed that he did not want to go into coaching after competing for so long, but he is enjoying the experience.

He explained: “When I retired I tried to take every opportunity that came along – coaching, being on the board of Welsh Athletics and Sport Wales, TV work.

“I took those opportunities not really knowing where they would go but coaching seems to be really taking off.

“I never wanted to be a coach because I’ve been with my partner for 20 years and she had to deal with me being away a lot.

“You have to be a bit selfish and I didn’t want to do that as a coach as well.

“But coaching has pulled me in and it’s massively rewarding.

“All I’ve done is given them advice and tried to help them avoid the mistakes that I made as an athlete.

“I teach them the basics, make sure they’re confident and believe in themselves.

“And when I see a weakness I speak up and it seems to be working well so far.”

A huge smile returned to Malcolm’s face as he reflected on that golden night in London when Britain’s CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (below) stormed to victory ahead of the USA and Jamaica.

South Wales Argus:

“It was a magical night,” said the 38-year-old.

“The guys did fantastic. For them to be world champions for the first time ever and for me to be a big part of that journey is great.

“The girls won silver as well and the guys are European champions and the girls are Olympic bronze medallists.

“They’ve done so much in such a short space of time and I just hope they can continue that journey.”

He continued: “I didn’t think this would happen in coaching.

“How long will it last? I don’t know but all I ever wished and prayed for as a kid was to be successful when I grew up.

“So far it’s gone OK and I hope there’s more to come.”