New Brit: Dasaolu 10.09

Dasaolu breaks into world class

By Simon Turnbull

Monday, 8 June 2009

James Dasaolu is not the first British sprinter to break 10.10 seconds for the 100m. In fact, the Croydon Harrier became the tenth to do so when he sped to victory in 10.09sec in the EAP Swiss Meeting in Geneva on Saturday.

Still, in breaking through to ground classed as world-class territory in the sprinting game, the 21-year-old has become the first Briton to get there without a background as a prodigy in the schoolboy or junior ranks.

He has also run faster than Allan Wells, the Olympic 100m champion of 1980, ever managed – his best time was 10.11sec, which is still a Scottish record.

A relative latecomer to track and field, Dasaolu boasted a best time of 10.75sec in 2006, then improved to 10.33 in 2007 and 10.26 last year, when he won the England Under-23 title and made it to the semi-finals at the Olympic trials.

In the opening weeks of the 2009 outdoor season he has improved to 10.15sec and now 10.09, making him the joint-second fastest man this year in both Britain and Europe, level with Simeon Williamson and only just behind Dwain Chambers, who heads the continental and domestic rankings with 10.06sec.

The 100m spot in the British team for the European Team Championships at Leiria, Portugal, on 20 and 21 June would appear to be between Chambers and Williamson, who finished first and fourth respectively in the 60m final at the European Indoor Championships in Turin in March.

Dasalou, however, will get the chance to measure his speed against that of Chambers when the pair meet at an invitation event at Montreuil on the outskirts of Paris this Thursday and the Loughborough University student is likely to land a slot in the 4 x 100m relay squad when the British team for Leiria is selected after the SuperEight meeting in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Dasalou, who is guided by British sprint relay coach Mike Khmel, beat two notable domestic rivals to win in Geneva. His training partner Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (left), the 2006 world junior 100m champion, finished second in 10.17. Craig Pickering, 60m silver medallist at the 2007 European indoor Championships, was third in 10.31.

The performance has raised Dasalou to joint fourth place in the UK under 23 all-time rankings, alongside Jason Livingston. The only Britons to have run faster in that age-group are Chambers (9.97), Williamson (10.03) and Mark Lewis-Francis (10.04).

I had the opportunity to see Desalou when he ran 10"15 early may in Italy.
Ordinary start…impressive top speed…he separated from the field at 60m…my athlete got 3rd with 10"60, and at 50m was within reach…then he flied away…I wish him all the best.

How long has Khmel been on the British sprint relay team?

Maybe since 2005? He was an Australia team coach and lost his contract, along with 17 other coaches, when the current administration took over in that country. However a former Aussie, Matt Favier, who became a southern counties coach in England, I believe had an influence in getting Khmel a job in the British system where he appears to have flourished and won respect.
He was the guy who took Matt Shirvington from an 11.1 boy to 10.03. He also coached Clinton Hill, John Steffensen, Daniel Batman and Pat Dwyer (and helped with another guy) onto the 6-man 4x400 squad who won 2004 Olympic silver. And the Aussies rewarded his effort by axing him, along with Cathy Freeman’s coach Peter Fortune and a lot of others, including head coach Keith Connor. No further comment required here really. It’s just stunning stupidity.

Stupid by the Aussie admin but it’s beginning to look like Van Comensee and Kevin Tyler are making the right moves in a hurry.

Is Khemel a respected coach amoungst people at the CF forums? Is he a S to L, L to S, Hi/Low guy? Does anybody know his theories?


I wonder what his methods are… as Dasaolu has seen such marked improvement…

In 2005 he was head coach of the 4*4 team of The Netherlands…
Under his guidance the U23 team won a bronze medal at the European U23 Championships in Erfurt

Methods are very similar to Dan Pfaff

Right… I’ve only seen snippets of Pfaff’s stuff… pretty hardcore. Have you got anything of his to share?

Lots of material here…just use search function…and more material in the canadian athletics coaching site…interviews and q&a forum with him.

The following is Shirvington’s in-season training plan from 1998, the year he ran 10.03. It was published in the “Australian Athlete” magazine :


Morning session - Maximum strength

Dynamic warm up (includes jgging, drills, general stretching and specific stretching exercises for this particular session.)
Power cleans - 90kg x 5 reps, 100kg x 3 reps 110kg x 2 reps 120kg x 1-2 reps
Bench press - same progression up to 130kg (286lbs)
Squats - up to 200kg (440lbs)
Various exercises for abs and back
Sprint drills and plyometrics at the track
Warm down including jogging, stretching and massage.
Afternoon session - Stretching and Swimming


Morning session - maximum velocity and starting acceleration -

dynamic warm up
technical runs: 6 x 60m
acceleration runs: 6 x 60m
starts - up to 10 starts over 30m
handicap starts (putting training partners in front 1m- 3m)
“flying sprints” or assistance sprints (down hill or using wind) 4-6 x 50m
warm down
Afternoon session : massage


Morning session - power strength

warm up
explosive weights ( performed as fast as possible with only 50% of max or
lighter for 3 x 10 reps)
power clean or snatch
bench press
speed squat
jumps from half squat
“Borzov” jumps
sprint drills and sprints at the track
warm down
Afternoon session - technical and tactical (video and biomechanical


Morning session - speed endurance and bend technique (for 200m)

Dynamic warm up
technical drills and runs on the bend
sprint into bend and off the bend 4-6 x 60m
speed endurance - 2 sets (8 x 80m) at 95% intensity
technical tempo 75% intensity (2 x 250m)
warm down (jog and stretch)
Afternoon session - regular physio treatment


Tactical preparation for Competition and rest




Video analysis

He became a devotee of Dan Pfaff and made numerous visits to him when Dan was in Texas. They corresponded a lot. Dan’s philosophy and his results (especially leading into and at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics) are persuasive and MK virtually remade his own vision in the image of Dan’s.

It must have been reassuring to MK that he was being mentored by someone who had produced an array of champions in a wide number of events, not least of whom was Donovan Bailey who shone in Atlanta.

However MK’s results with Shirvington (10.03 at 18 in 1998) were not exceeded with any amount of input from Dan. And thereafter MK’s most notable improvements came in the area of 400m, an event for which Dan is not particularly known.

It would be easy therefore to say MK would have been better following his own vision rather than Dan’s. However Shirvington made such a meal of his GPP so many seasons in a row (by taking a vacation for a month, for example, in the middle of the pre-season one year) that it would be hard to know whether MK under Dan’s influence did improve as a coach because the results on the clock with his finest athlete simply were not there.

I suspect that was as much Shirvo’s fault as MK’s, but at least the coach now is presumably much wiser. Sometimes though we need to listen more carefully to people who’s ideas we instinctively disagree with, rather than those whose thoughts immediately concur with our own.