Alex Nelson for GB 4x1

Alex Nelson has been selected to replace the injured Dwayne Grant in Great Britain’s 4x100m relay squad for the World Championships in Osaka.
The 19-year-old, who won gold in the 200m in last month’s European juniors, has already arrived at Britain’s training camp in Macau.

Grant withdrew from the squad after a scan because of a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Emily Freeman was picked for the 200m after Jeanette Kwakye switched to the 100m.

Interesting selection given that his bests this year are only 10.56 and 20.83.

Welcome to UK Athletics and their “I dont know what I am doing policies”. I dont think the kid would get a run

I think they just wanna give him experience. Not convinced I think he is the best choice, given he has not been involved at the senior relay practices all season, but that’s UKA for you! As for his 20.83, I can only think of three people to have bettered that in Britain this year-here to be corrected on that fact however!!

Yes but this is the 4x100m! And he is ranked 31st at 100m in the UK and as you say has not necessarily been to the relay practices.

I was surprised he went too! His last 100 was 11.14 I believe! I think they assume his start is what lets him down so he could do a quick rolling 100 or something. Guess they think that they took Craig 2 years ago, so wanna try and do the same sort of thing here. I dunno what they’re thinking-don’t think they do!!!

the 20.8 puts him #5 US HS preformer but the 10.56 puts him lower on the US HS list than on the UK overall list!!

& he would have graduated HS 2 years ago! :eek:

not looking good if the UK is putting their hopes into someone with a SB of 10.5

They are not taking simeon because he missed alot of relay practises? but they are taking alex? why didnt they take rikki? or even leevan! tim abeyi? Mark Findlay? :confused:

G Force to answer your question they would not Findlay cos of his age and his history. If he stayed with a recognised coach (that UKA thrust or rate, like he was last season indoors when he got his only international vest , to date at the WIC Moscow) they would have considered him and he would still be part of the set up.
Simeon and Fifton should be there all day long but the crap Russian realy coach dont think they have got the skill despite both these guys having run atleast 3-4 tenth faster (10.10 and 10.20) than the likes of Malcolm and Alex.

Levan would be too young and Abeyi is too inconsistent speed wise and baton wise.

The main reason is the federation that needs medal at all cost would never risk picking people that they fill can make a mistake.The way it stands at the moment britain might even get a medal if france, Jamaica and usa are within 3 m of MFL.

4 tenths is 5 yards in the relay and presents the difficulty of non-matching speeds on the exchange. A 10.10 man running into a 10:50 man could hand off with maximum free distance- then, after the pass, run right past him- might as well pass it to him backwards over his shoulder in that case.
Likewise, on the other end, the slightest bobble on the pass and the next 10:10 man will be gone with no second chance, especially on second leg, where the incoming runner must be on the outside of the outgoing runner.
To top it all off, the slower the man is, the more likely he is to shit his pants when the teams come in to his zone, making it likely he will panic and leave his mark before his incoming man hits the tape they set from practice. Pressure increases with each leg.
It’s already been suggested that he can’t start.

If “the bloody Russian” was in fact completely responsible for the makeup of the 4x1 squad, he would realise his arse is on the line if they screw up. There will be pressures from above which will be impacting on his decision-making process and therefore he may have opted for a more conservative, get-the-stick-around approach. But he is also a great one for measuring and testing, loves the speed gates and gadgets, will know every player’s strengths and weaknesses - their max velocity and how long they take to get up near there, how they handle the baton, how they perform on a bend. Khmel is a good guy and nobody’s dummy.



Ashlee Nelson puts Olympics before fun
By James Cracknell
Last Updated: 1:51am BST 17/08/2007

Have your say Read comments

Three days after London defeated Paris on July 6 2005 and won the right to host the 2012 Olympics, Ashlee Nelson broke Katherine Merry’s British Junior record for the 100 metres and became the fastest 14-year-old in Europe.

UK School Games
There is no guarantee that a teenage sprinting sensation will dominate in the senior ranks - we only need to look as far as Mark Lewis-Francis for proof of that. But breaking Merry’s record was a landmark, not just because it had stood for 16 years but because it is the only time in the past 15 years that one of the short or middle-distance Junior records has been broken - this year the 800m record celebrated its 25th birthday.

Sprint sensation: Ashlee Nelson
In the wake of the successful Olympic bid, companies searched for potential medal-winning teenagers to sponsor in the build-up to 2012. Unfortunately, just because you’ve won the right to host the Games, an Aladdin’s Cave of talented young superstars doesn’t suddenly open up.

Kids have to be encouraged and inspired into taking up sport, enthused when they are doing it, motivated to stick at it and taught how to compete.

Not easy criteria to fulfil, but the job of a PE teacher or athletics coach is made slightly easier when a child’s father is an ex-professional footballer.

“Dad used to play for Stoke City,” says Nelson, “and, err, someone else…I’ve heard the story ‘In my day’ so many times I’ve forgotten.”

And as her older brother, Alex, was also the star of the athletics club, Nelson was left with little choice but to be good at sport. Inspiration, however, comes in many different guises.

“Alex was signed by Nike when he was 15, so as a 12-year-old when he was getting free trainers and clothes and being a shopaholic, I thought, ‘Yeah, I want some of that’. And he was like, ‘To get that you’ve got to do this, this and this,’ so I did it.”

The incentives to being a successful athlete lured her away from her first love: “I never used to be into athletics, I was into the Spice Girls . . . I shouldn’t really admit to that.” (I assured her it was excusable because she was only five when they had their first No 1.)

Now the well-dressed 18-year-old Alex Nelson forms part of the 4x100m relay squad at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

“He’s been a big help, although obviously there’s the sibling rivalry,” Nelson admits. “If I know he’s there watching me I kind of feel a pressure to perform. But to see someone I’m that close to achieving so much spurs me on. And if he can do it why can’t I? He’s only my brother.”

It takes more than the motivation of a free wardrobe to break records. Now 16 and a powerfully long-limbed 5ft 9in, Nelson is looking to defend her 100m title at the second UK School Games which start next Thursday.

Giving the country’s most talented teenagers the opportunity to compete at an event with the feel of a major championships (there are 1,300 competitors from eight sports, opening and closing ceremonies and an athlete’s village) is crucial to make youngsters see that the effort they are putting in has a purpose.

For a country to be successful at the pinnacle of international sport you need aspiring athletes to stick at it when the pressures of schoolwork and a burgeoning social life often means sport is the loser.

According to Nelson staying focused when your friends cannot relate to what you are doing is hard.

“I went to the World School Games in Greece last year and won,” she says. “I came back and wanted to tell all my friends how good it was but they couldn’t understand why I was so happy and why I didn’t want to go out every weekend and get drunk.”

For this generation of teenage athletes surely the chance of competing in the London Olympics must make the sacrifices easier to cope with?

“Some of me thinks it would be nice to go to away to a different country but also I’d like people to be watching the Games here going, ‘Oh, there’s Ashlee Nelson. I used to go to school with her - that’s why she never came out clubbing’.”

I was surprised that her enthusiasm for London’s Games was not more obvious, which made me ask if she thought 2016 would be her best chance of glory? I was met with a disbelieving stare. “If you don’t believe you can win the Olympics you may as well quit now. It would be nice to be a 21-year-old and win.”

If that proves to be the case her schoolmates will be able to relate to her soon enough.

The UK School Games takes place in Coventry from Aug 23-26 and is supported by the National Lottery and Visa.

What i’d like 2 know is why UK sprinters seem to be all that as 15-16-17 year olds and then get rapidly slower, and stay that way. What’s up? Whatever crap that goes down has got 2 stop because it must be something someone is doing wrong as it happens to all the good male sprinters it seems. We all know of MLF’s exploits as a teenager, but Alex Nelson ran 10.31 as a 17 year old and yet has a SB of 10.56?

Great talented athletes and shit coaches!

I have heard from the great vine that he(Alex) is on the move coach wise and UKA ( like they have done with Harry AH) are trying to get him to go to Khamel (the same relay coach in question)

As a coach Khamel has not done much for me (look at the athletes they sent to him last year either injured or average) and still the best british athletes are still been told to go to him while they ignore the likes of Lester, Macfalene and all the other coaches they employ them selves while they are forcing young guys to go there).

KitKat, I think yes his ass might be on the line. But i think he makes the recommedation to the selection team and then they pick. Either way the process is badly flawed. If you look at the french team this in Osaka it is made up of 3 guys that medal at the European u23 Champs in 2005 and the kid that finished 3rd at this year version behind Simoen. That is called coming through. No doubt they would be DRILLED TO DEATH and you know they would run well. The have not picked someone like Poinon or someone not running as fast as these kids COS of experince - rubbish, and there lies the problems with the UKA lot

I don’t see how Abeyie can be judging as inconsistent with the baton! He went to relay practices throughout the winter and ran last year at the Europa Cup and Loughborough, and this year at Glasgow and the baton was never dropped. His only inconsistent performances this year were at AAA where he had an injection for a nerve pain in his right hamstring on the Friday. To say Fifton is consistent but Tim is not doesn’t make sense as Rikki never made the final of those AAA and Tim beat Rikki over 200 at LEAP last weekend. The pair are due to race again today in Bedford I believe. I heard Alex was supposed to be linking up with McFarlane, so I’m not sure about all that. I also think that the intense relay practice before competitions is often responsible for lackluster performances and injuries. Leevan Yearwood was injured at relay practice in Loughborough. The flat out drills run on consecutive days must be taxing on the CNS, and to then compete the following day can only stress it further. I heard a few athletes complain about what is being expected of them from UKA in terms of relay!

How much younger than Alex is Leevan too?? Can’t be much in it!

From what I understand of the British setup with an administration that needs to produce medals but cannot seem to achieve success on the individual front for whatever reason - relays really have to be a major focus of their national program. I’m sure this is no different to other countries I have observed such as France and Poland (wow, those guys have some stick skills).

With this in mind there must be significant emphasis on relays.

To practice relays there must be FULL SPEED changeovers. Anything less really doesn’t cut it.


The idea of having a 2 day camp (practices each day) with a race on the 3rd day does not seem like good idea if you want to avoid injury and permit optimal performance. The only reason I can think that they take this approach is logistics - they need people together to do the correct practice. So there is a tradeoff here, that obviously isn’t optimal.

In terms of finding a solution, the only way I see to go about it is to encourage all coaches with an athlete on the national side to put relay practices into their coaching sessions. I personally think this can be done without compromising training as there are several great training sessions that can be put together for acceleration, speed and speed endurance in a relay context. The problem is that it is hard to persuade coaches to do this - there is no relay culture within most counties.

The easiest to control is the current option but the best is perhaps my suggestion. Unfortunitly, unless you can get the co-operation of all the respective individual coaches (doesn’t sound too likely) you are going to be stuck with the current program.

The idea that you need to go flat out for three days in a row and risk injuries because relay practice is hard to arrange in a geographically small country like Britain is just plain BS.

Alex gets injured alot, thats the only reason why he hasn’t improved on his pb. last year, he hurt his hamstring then his calf and this year he had ankle problems until aaa u20s, the physio tried to fix it but he made it worse.

I think we go downhill because of the coaching! Thats why I moved to usa before its too late lol! :smiley: