Commonwealth and European 100m silver medalist Mark Lewis-Francis on attitude, training and not getting caught on the blocks.
Words: Paul Eddison
- D.O.B: 4.9.82
- Height: 6ft 1in
- Weight: 86kg
- 100m PB: 10.04secs
- 200m PB: 20.94secs
This has been
my most successful year at senior level. I achieved my first individual senior medal at the Europeans in Barcelona, with a silver medal in the 100m, and came back at the end of the season and won the silver at the Commonwealths. It was an amazing season.
I slipped on the blocks
in the Commonwealth final. It was heartbreaking wondering what might have been. It will always play on my mind. But at the same time I could have landed flat on my face and ended up with nothing so I’m over the moon to leave with a silver medal.
Next year will
not be easy at all. We have the World Championships and the European Indoors, and then the World Championships team is going to be hard to make. But I’m in the right place, I’m injury-free, my head’s right, I’ve got a good coach.
My training is spent between
time in the gym, on the track, and bounding. Linford (Christie) is an old school coach; he coaches how they used to do it back in the day, but for me it works. We’ve also got Ron Roddan, Linford’s old coach, who has a very good technical eye.
I’ve never gone to train in America.
We’ve got everything that we need here in Britain. I train out of Brunel University, where we’re well catered for. The only thing we don’t have is the weather, but our summers have been decent enough recently. Plus most of the fast runners live in Jamaica now, so there’s no point going to the States.
I think the 100m
is all about the start line. If you start having doubts there then the race is over. Self-belief is one of the biggest things. In the 200m if you don’t have confidence on the start line you can always pull it back on the straight, but on the 100 you have to be confident.
I keep my pre-race breakfast simple;
If I wake up and want cereals, I’ll have cereals, if I want a bacon sandwich, I’ll have one. I just need to make sure I don’t eat too much because you don’t want to be on the start blocks needing the toilet.
Usain Bolt’s record will definitely go.
I didn’t think that Maurice Greene’s record would be beaten at the time, but I think with the technology and different tracks Bolt’s will be beaten. Having said that, it’s still a crazy time.
One of the best things
anyone said to me is to always be yourself and never forget where you’ve come from. Athletics is not an easy sport to be involved in. When you’re achieving, it’s great, but when you aren’t it can be really tough. So you must always remember the good times as well the bad. That’s one thing that has kept me going.