28th June 2018
PRESCOD RELISHING COMPETING ON HOME SOIL AT MULLER BRITISH ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
British athletes compete all over the world, but for one athlete in particular he is looking forward to competing at home this summer, starting with the Müller British Athletics Championships this weekend (30 June to 1 July).
Reece Prescod caused one of the shocks of last year’s championships to storm to victory in the 100m final to announce himself to the athletics world. The London-born sprinter went from being relatively unknown with the British public to holding the title of the nation’s quickest sprinter.
This weekend, the 22-year-old will return to the Alexander Stadium as defending champion and one of the athletes to beat in what is expected to be a fiercely-contested men’s 100m competition.
“I’m definitely excited. This will be the first time I have been defending champion – it is going to be a great opportunity to run back in Birmingham again. The competition this year is really, really fierce, so I am really looking forward to it. It is going to be a strong competition, but I am definitely looking to run well,” Prescod said.
Twelve months after his stunning performance in Birmingham, Prescod will take to the Alexander Stadium start line, this time not as an underdog, but as a serious contender in the championship’s blue riband event.
“I feel like it’s a different kind of pressure this year. Last year, I was a surprise. This year, I am definitely more of a contender. But there are no races given. When the gun goes off you have to forget everything, the race chooses all, so I have just got to see when I get to the line,” Prescod said.
There’s more at stake than ever before at a British Championships as athletes’ battle for not only the prestigious honour of becoming British champion, but also automatic selection for July’s inaugural Athletics World Cup in London and August’s European Championships in Berlin.
The added importance means it is not only going to be the weather which is hot at the Alexander Stadium, with the track and field events also likely to be hotly-contested.
“It would be a dream come true [to win and be selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland again]. It would tick both the goals for me this season. But, like I said, it’s not a given – I can’t just go and Reece wins straight away. A lot of the other boys are going to want to win; they are going to have the same dreams as me, so it is anyone’s game really. But, in an ideal world, yes, I would like to win and be selected,” the 22-year-old said.
Prescod already has experience of competing at a major championships, finishing seventh in the 100m final at last year’s IAAF World Championships. Since then, he has gone from strength-to-strength, opening his 2018 season with a 10.04 victory into a head wind at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, plus a wind-assisted 9.88 for third at the next leg in Eugene.
“The season is going really well so far. Last year I ran a lot more, but I have run in Shanghai, a bit more on the Diamond League circuit, and in Oregon. I feel like I have been in a lot of intense, fast races. For me, this season is just starting now.
“After the Championships, we have got the Anniversary Games, which is going to be a really good competition. We have got the World Cup, the Diamond League is back again, so it is about managing a lot of competitions. I’m definitely looking forward to the next few months,” Prescod said.
The only British sprinter to run quicker than Prescod this year is Zharnel Hughes, who clocked a time of 9.91 seconds three weeks ago – a time that places him equal second on the UK all-time rankings. But with CJ Ujah, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Ojie Edoburun and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey all capable of running quick, the men’s 100m is set to be a thrilling competition to watch.
Athletics has taken Prescod all over the world. Already this year, he has competed in Shanghai and Eugene, but the Enfield and Haringey athlete says nothing compares to taking to the track in front of a home crowd.
“When they announce your name, and the crowd roars it is quite a nice feeling, it kind of uplifts you. When you go to lower abroad meets, only the big athletes get called out, so to actually be back in front of the home crowd again, getting that home support will be really, really good for me,” he said.
Prescod will have another opportunity to compete in front of the home crowd when he competes in the 100m at the Müller Anniversary Games next month (21-22 July).
A star-studded line-up has already been confirmed for the men’s 100m at the London Diamond League event, including triple Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse and 60m world record holder Christian Coleman.
“I love a good line-up as it means there is going to be more competition and there is going to be a faster outcome. The better the line-up, the better the competition. I feel racing in that home Stadium again on a track surface that I like will bring out the best of my ability, so it should be really fun,” Prescod said.
Tickets for the Müller British Athletics Championships are still available to buy by clicking here.