European silver medallist wants to help push British sprinting on to the next level and has a five-goal 2019 hit list as he targets the top
Each new year brings with it fresh targets and in 2019 Reece Prescod won’t be holding back. The 22-year-old starts each of his seasons by outlining – and grading – his goals and this year will feature five key objectives.
The sprinter ended 2018 as a European 100m silver medallist, two-time British champion and the fourth-fastest ever GB athlete over the distance with 9.94 after a breakthrough year in 2017.
While pleased with his progress, there’s plenty more the Enfield & Haringey athlete wants to achieve and, as he takes a break to chat while on a training camp in Tenerife, he shares some insight into those top five targets.
“I can’t give you all the secrets!” laughs the sprinter, “but I have planned this year, what I’d like to achieve.
“For me the priority would be the World Championships – I finished seventh in the final last time so to go and get a medal or win that.
“To get a medal would be the least. My aim is to go and win the World Champs.”
So global gold is the main aim, but Prescod is just getting started.
“In terms of nationals – I’ve won two years in a row so it would be good to get a hat-trick but obviously the British boys are going to come for me again so it’s trying to make sure I’m ready for that,” adds the Jonas Dodoo-coached sprinter, who was something of a surprise winner at the UK Championships in 2017 but then proved it was no fluke by retaining the title 12 months later.
“The 100m, again the British record (Linford Christie’s mark of 9.87) would obviously be the first aim,” Prescod continues, with his 9.94 PB clocked at the Birmingham Diamond League backed up last year by a slightly wind-assisted 9.88 in Eugene.
“Then we’ve got the 200m,” says the Loughborough-based athlete, who might be best known as a 100m specialist but has plans to double up and take on a few more half-lap races this summer. “The aim would be sub-20 there.”
And the final goal on the list?
“In an ideal world I want to run sub-10 at every meet,” he says.
“That’s kind of my base five targets. They are the big goals and targets but I have to make sure that I just deal with the day to day and week to week before I can even think about those kinds of things.”
With injury problems having plagued his early career, it’s a sensible mindset for Prescod to have, especially with a long season featuring those world championships in Doha in the early autumn.
“Because it’s such a long season, my coach is making sure that I don’t burn myself out too early, trying to break up training a little bit and focus on different areas,” he explains.
“I want to do a few races indoors and then I’ll take a little bit of a break again because I’ve had a hard winter and then it will be outdoors again. The Diamond League will then come around in May and I want to do the 100m and 200m this year so I feel like I’ve got to mix it up.
“The aim is the same but when you’ve got a World Champs in September and October, it’s a bit like, well actually, we need to just be patient.”
While Prescod is looking to shake things up a little by racing more 200m events this summer, he’ll also be dropping down to 60m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 16 where he’ll line up alongside CJ Ujah, Richard Kilty and China’s Su Bingtian and hasn’t ruled out targeting the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March.
“It’s another opportunity to work on my start a bit more and close that gap,” the 6.61 60m man says of racing indoors.
“Obviously I’d like to try and get a PB, that will be the first thing, and to execute the first half of my race.
“I know that where the 100m is concerned I have one of the best finishes in the world at the moment, but equally my start can be another massive strength with work.”
It’s all part of the plan for continual improvement.
“I don’t wake up every day to just be average,” he says.
“I feel like if I don’t aim for great things, I won’t achieve anything.
“I want to take British sprinting and evolve it to be just as competitive as the other countries. I feel like if I have these aims every year and the rest of the British boys do, if we all have these aims it will push us on.
“I don’t want to rest on my laurels and be comfortable, I like to put myself out there and be a competitor.”
» Tickets are sold out for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham but any returns will be available to purchase online from February 1 via www.britishathletics.org.uk