Britain’s current fastest man James Dasaolu ready to continue his impressive run of form at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games
James Dasaolu insists he isn’t feeling the pressure ahead of lining up alongside the likes of Usain Bolt and Nesta Carter on Friday night.
The 25-year-old south Londoner became the second-fastest Brit of all time a fortnight ago when he shaved 0.12 off a recently set 100m personal best to clock 9.91 at the national championships in Birmingham.
That time sees him go into tonight’s 100m A race at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games as second quickest in the field so far this year behind Jamaica’s Carter and ahead of Carter’s compatriot Bolt, whose best so far this year sits at 9.94.
“This is what I work hard for, so I’m really happy to be amongst the likes of Usain Bolt and the quickest guys in the world,” admitted Dasaolu. ”I ran in the Birmingham Diamond League a few weeks ago and I believe I was up to the challenge. I finished second, so I like to believe that in that kind of field I will excel as an athlete.
“I know I’m going to have to run quicker if I’m going to challenge Bolt and the rest of the guys but I’m progressing pretty well and I’m happy.
“Of course I have broken that sub-10 barrier, so lining up against sub-10 guys, I know it’s a field I belong in so it gives me confidence.”
In terms of “progressing pretty well”, his times so far this year are proof of that: from a 10.08 at the Josef Odložil Memorial meet in Prague on June 10, to a 10.03 at the Birmingham leg of the Diamond League series at the end of the month, to finally his first sub-10 clocking as he returned to the Alexander Stadium for the British Championships a couple of weeks ago.
At a pre-event press conference dominated by questions of a doping nature given recent revelations regarding sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, inevitably conversation turned to how it had been possible for Dasaolu to improve to such a mark. His secret? Moving to Loughborough to train under coach Steve Fudge.
“The big change for me is that in January of 2012 I made a move to train with Steven Fudge and he’s been able to keep me injury-free and healthy,” the sprinter explained. “I’ve been able to have a full winter to progress and build on what I did in 2012 to 2013, hence why I’m now able to run a personal best.”
In response to a question about his injury-plagued past, he continued: “I wouldn’t say I’m a fragile guy. I was just doing incorrect training – training that wasn’t really suited to me as a person.
“I was just doing the wrong programme for a number of years and, now I’m in the right programme, I’m healthy and fit and able to run and enjoy the sport,” he added.
With the IAAF World Championships in Moscow just a fortnight away, everything seems to have been timed to perfection for Dasaolu, who will also run the anchor leg of the 4x100m relay on Saturday and reveals the team are quietly confident.
“We’re going to get the baton round, that’s one thing I can say, without a doubt!” he said. “We want to run quick times. Secretly in the team we’re eyeing up maybe the British record towards Moscow so confidence is high among us. We’re a new-look team and we can’t wait to get out there on Saturday and compete.”
» The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games are held from July 26-28. You can find an in-depth event-by-event preview in the July 25 issue of AW