Tommy Ramdhan took the European junior 200m title two years after quitting high-level rugby and AW caught up with him to find out more

I started the season with a new coach. Ryan Freckleton had a lot of ideas and big aims and we sat down to discuss how we were going to achieve them and the type of training that was required. Throughout my athletics career I had never really focused on one event, but this year we decided to put everything into the 200m.

It was a surreal experience representing Great Britain for the first time at the European Juniors. I came into the championships as one of the favourites, I trusted my training and knew I was more than capable of becoming European junior champion. I ran my own race and had complete tunnel vision. I learned a lot from it in terms of racing abroad, call-up rooms and adapting to different environments.

In training we had worked a lot on achieving the perfect ‘race model’. I practiced how to position myself coming off the bend and front-side mechanics in the home straight.

I still have lots to work on. I am always learning how to run and perfect a great 200m. I’m hoping that with patience and a lot of hard work it will come on further.

Ryan is a hard taskmaster. He insists I turn up for training promptly, train hard and trust his process. For the last two seasons I have trained and studied at Oaklands College in Hertfordshire. This has enabled me to combine my training and studies in a central place. Ryan is the Head of the Athletics at Oaklands and we had a great set-up. I completed a BTEC Sport Coaching & Fitness Extended Diploma and will now be studying at Middlesex University.

Weirdly for a sprinter I like the longer training sessions. My least favourite training session would be block work, but I know I need to work on it to improve. I love 250m and 300m reps.

When I’m in the blocks I try to erase everything in my mind. I used to make the mistake of wanting to run specific times, but I’ve learned to focus on winning the race.

Tommy Ramdhan2

I miss the ‘changing room’ banter of rugby. I played for Kent county and in the academy side at Saracens RFC. I haven’t played for two years since I decided to concentrate fully on athletics. I think I have made the right choice. I see my future as an athlete.

I owe a lot to my mum and dad. I’ve lived away from home since the age of 16 and they have supported me enormously. Without them I wouldn’t have achieved what I have so far.

Success relies on a lot of people. Ryan has invested so much of his own time in me this season and the physio team at Oaklands College along with my personal physiotherapists, Rob McDonald and Gordon Bosworth, have always been there for me.

Sport is about sacrifices. It has taught me that if you really want something, you must sideline certain other things to achieve it. If you don’t reach your goal, then at least you can reflect and know you tried your best.

TYPICAL WEEK’S TRAINING

Monday – Gym session (weight training/circuit training) including RDL’S, squats, lunges and weighted pull ups followed by an abdominal circuit.

Tuesday – Endurance- based training, for example: 250m in 25-27sec x 3, 200m in 24-25sec x 2, and 150m in 17sec x 1 (6 minutes between reps)

Wednesday – Swimming/ Pilates

Thursday – Speed session: 150m in 18 sec x 8 (5min between reps)

Friday – Gym session (weight training) including Incline lunges, bench press, bent over row, hamstring curls and calf raises.

Saturday – Speed endurance session: 180m 20secs x 2, 150m 18sec x 2, 120m 12sec x 2 (5min between reps and 8min between sets)

Sunday – Rest

» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes