Christian Malcolm, the 1998 double world U20 champion and coach of Great Britain’s triumphant World Championships 4x100m relay quartet, recalls a key moment from the early stages of his long and accomplished career.
"In 1998 everything seemed to click for me. My coach Jock Anderson had prepared me well and in the July of that year I completed the 100m and 200m double at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Annecy. I had come a long way. Just two years earlier I competed at the 1996 IAAF World U20 Championships in Sydney but I remember I was so scared, I could hardly get out the starting blocks. From that point on, I vowed I would never be overcome with nerves again.
“After winning double gold in Annecy, later that year in September I made my senior international debut, representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aged just 19. I was ranked maybe four or five in the Commonwealth for the 200m, but I only went there for the experience, the enjoyment and the buzz.
“I wanted to do well in the 100m and Wales also had a good opportunity in the 4x100m, where I would be competing alongside my cousin, Kevin Williams, who was like a big brother to me.
“I ran the 100m but was gutted to be knocked out the semi-finals. So much so, I had to be persuaded to run the 200m. Back then the 200m was more challenging because we faced four rounds and in the humid weather it was draining. I managed to reach the final and although I felt lethargic, I had the appetite to compete.
“I recall coming off the bend in last and in the final few strides going past two or three people, but as I crossed the line I thought I still had two or three people ahead of me. It was only when I saw the replay on the board I thought, ‘woah, I’ve got the silver medal!’ I broke the national U20 record with 20.29. I couldn’t believe it.
“It was very special for me to win a medal there because after winning the world U20 double, I won a competition for two of my closest family members to come out and support me in Kuala Lumpur. I took my mum and girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife, and on my lap of honour I celebrated that moment with my mum, which was special to me because she had done so much for me growing up.”
Steve Landells for the IAAF