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Welsh Sprint Star Malcolm’s Part in Usain Bolt’s Glorious Career

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Usain Bolt can thank, in part, a Welsh sprinter for helping him become a global track icon.

Indeed, Newport’s Christian Malcolm ran against the greatest athlete the world has ever seen in the 2008 Olympic Games final where Bolt broke Michael Johnson’s 14-year-old 200 metres world record on his way to gold.

Now retired from competition, Malcolm is the current Great Britain athletics team relay and Paralympic coach and is passing on his vast experience to athletes of all sports who want to run faster through his Christian Malcolm Sports Academy Xtra Yard programme which begins a six-week run at Newport and Cwmbran Stadiums in Gwent from Monday November 13.

©Steve Pope

When Malcolm did the sprint double at the World Junior Championships in 1998, somebody was watching him who was later to become the man who guided Bolt to greatness.

And, said Malcolm, now 38, the link with Jamaican superstar bolt and countryman Asafa Powell, the  2016 Olympic Games gold medallist, came thanks to the work of the Welshman’s lifelong coach Jock Anderson.

Malcolm, who is also a board member of Sport Wales, revealed for the first time:

“Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell’s coach wanted to know how Jock got people to run so well.

“This was back at the World Juniors in 1998. They liked the technique and the way I ran. What they would do was they would play a video of me at the World Juniors to them.

“They also showed the start from the blocks of Kim Collins (St Kitts and Nevis) along with my technique and said that is how we want you to run. That all came from what Jock instilled into me.”

Malcolm came fifth in the 2008 Olympic Games 200 metres final in Beijing behind a Bolt who was at the height of his powers.

The Welsh athlete said:

“It is only when you are retired that you reflect on these things. It was a hard race because he was the greatest but to race against him, you can look back and think we had some great athletes at the time and I was up there and I was respected by them.”

With distance athletic enjoying a new growth period through city centre marathons and half marathons in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea plus weekly 5K parkrun sessions across Wales every Saturday, Malcolm has been asked by numerous parents and athletes if he would help them with developing their speed.

Hence, he is passion on the lessons learnt in elite international track athletics to all sportsmen and women through his Xtra Yard programmes.

“What we should be doing is taking advantage of what is happening in road running athletics at the moment and taking people back onto the track,” said Malcolm, whose Xtra Yard programmes start at Newport and Cwmbran Stadiums from Monday November 13.

“It is said there is no substitute for pace in sport and it would be a shame not to give back my experience to be able to help people in netball, cricket, rugby, hockey and football.”

Christian Malcolm’s Sports Academy runs the Xtra Yard programme which is a six-week course at Cwmbran and Newport Stadiums helping men and women across all sports to develop speed. The winter programmes begin from Monday November 13 and can be booked by ringing 07786 060844. More information is at christianmalcolm.co.uk

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Gary Baker MA founded Wales and West Media Ltd in 2007 and works within journalism and PR across all sectors of media, from TV, radio, sport, print and new and social media.

Gary has written for all the London-based tabloid and broadsheet papers and worked with clients from many different industries, from childrens charites to recyling and, particularly, sport.

He is a Masters degree graduate in entrepreneurship and business development and founded Welsh business magazine SME Wales in 2013. In 2014, after working with a client within the umbrella of national governing body Sport Wales for ten years, he founded Welsh Sport magazine.

Gary has worked within Welsh organisations to bring major events to the Principality, most proudly the British Cycling National Road Race Championships in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2014.

He has worked with many people on developing business PR strategies within their sport, and, as a former sports editor and writer, knows what it is like on the ’other side of the desk’ when press releases and pictures land in the inbox.

Gary has written for newspapers and websites at some of the biggest sporting events in the world, such as the Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. The proudest of all, however, was working for 17 days, with an Access All Areas media accreditation, at the 2012 London Olympic Games. This is his personal gold medal.

Gary is a member of national bodies the Sports Journalists Association and the Rugby Union Writers Club. He is also a long-term member of many business clubs in Wales and the West of England.

His teenage daughter means everything to him but he also enjoys rugby union, walking, films, cyclling and the company of friends – and is somewhat known for an ability to scout out cheap train tickets on the internet.

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