Thursday January 4, 2007
Linford Christie, Britain’s former Olympic and world 100 metres champion, has offered to help young Jamaicans fulfill their sprinting potential and follow in the footsteps of the world record holder, Asafa Powell. Christie, who was born in Saint Andrew, to the north of Kingston, before emigrating to England at the age of seven, made his offer after spending Christmas on the Caribbean island.
“It would be nice to be able to play a part from overseas,” Christie said. “When I come back next time, or in the near future, I will see if I can be able to watch some of the youngsters. I am now trying to help others to achieve their goals and this could be seen as repaying for some of what you have achieved. They say the best thing to do is doing it yourself and the second best is showing someone else how to do it, and that’s what I am hoping to do.”
Christie was last year controversially given a major role by UK Athletics to help British sprinters prepare for the 2012 Olympics. This move came despite the fact he will not receive accreditation for the London or the 2008 Beijing games by the British Olympic Association … (edited)
Currently Christie is not coaching a high-profile athlete following the retirement at the end of last summer of Darren Campbell, the Manchester runner he rescued from obscurity and guided to the 1998 European 100m title, the 2000 Olympic 200m silver medal and the bronze medal in the 100m at the world championships. But he is looking after a group of promising youngsters.
“Linford’s future is working with people,” said his coach Ron Roddan. “He likes working with people, he likes talking with people, he likes teaching people and likes athletics, and he will do well in whatever he likes.”
Jamaica had 16 sprinters ranked among the world’s top 100 last year, led by Powell, who ran his world record time of 9.77sec on two occasions, in Gateshead and Zurich. Jamaica has always produced talented sprinters but in the past they have often had to move abroad to fulfill their potential. Besides Christie, Ben Johnson was also born in Jamaica before moving to live in and represent Canada.