The British 100m No.1 says London 2017 would just be a stepping stone towards the Winter Olympics two years from now
Joel Fearon says he has no desire to switch his focus away from the bobsleigh and his plans of bringing home a medal from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018 despite having realised his dream to become the seventh British sprinter to ever run a sub-10-second 100m.
Fearon was the star attraction at the England Athletics Championships in Bedford on Saturday as he ran a lifetime best of 9.96 (2.0m/sec) to win gold, having won his heat and semi-final earlier in the day in times of 10.02 and 10.10 respectively.
The 27-year-old Birchfield Harrier has combined sprinting with bobsleigh for the past five years, picking up a silver medal in the four-man event at the European Championships in 2014 before placing fifth at the Sochi Games – behind two Russian quartets in which some members are reported to have been implicated in the doping scandal.
Having started his season on the track with a couple of low-key 10.3-10.4 runs in Newham back in May where he suffered injury, Fearon has shot to prominence over the past two weeks, and his absence from the Rio Olympic squad has arguably placed greater focus on his outstanding performances.
As the latest to join an exclusive group of sub-10 British 100m sprinters – he joins Linford Christie, James Dasaolu, CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Dwain Chambers and Jason Gardener – the temptation could be to push this form on towards the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, but Fearon says his focus right now is on achieving his Olympic ambitions in two years.
“It’s a year before our Olympics so it’s up to [British Bobsleigh],” he told AW. “I’m their athlete so if they give me the freedom to go out and run, and if I’m in a position where I could make it, they’ll allow me to go and do it. I’ll work with the bobsleigh guys and see what we can put together.
“My focus is really on the bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics. We missed out on a medal in Sochi so I’m very focused on going and redeeming that and hopefully getting that medal that we should have got, and getting it on the day.”
Before his upturn in performances over the past two weeks Fearon had a PB of 10.10 from 2013 – the last full outdoor track season the bobsledder enjoyed – and the athlete says he’s just pleased to have been handed the opportunity at this stage of the year by British Bobsleigh to tailor his preparations the way he wants to, and subsequently be reaping the rewards.
“I’m really just happy to be out running,” he added. “Michael Khmel, my coach, has really brought me back into some good form. I’ve had a lot of support from bobsleigh to go out and run and help towards my dreams of what I want to achieve in life. I’m very, very happy with the way things have gone.”