Chalmers closing on the world elite level

ALA CHALMERS is within touching distance of the world’s 400m hurdles elite.

Golden moment: Alastair Chalmers wins the 400m hurdles national title in Manchester. (Picture by Mark Shearman, 28658536)
Golden moment: Alastair Chalmers wins the 400m hurdles national title in Manchester. (Picture by Mark Shearman, 28658536)

That’s the view of the man who 13 years ago on the same SportCity track – albeit different in colour – also won the national 400m hurdles championship.

Dale Garland was hugely impressed by Chalmers’ run, which blew away the opposition in Manchester, and suspects his Island record will soon be despatched into history by his fellow Old Elizabethan, who is still a long way from his expected peak years.

‘That run in good conditions was worth sub 49.5,’ said the man who was 26 when he won his title and two years later set the Guernsey best mark of 49.54 which still stands today.

Chalmers posted 49.66 on Saturday, blitzing the field.

Garland was not surprised by the performance and described Chalmers’ lockdown runs at Footes Lane as ‘incredible... to find the necessary adrenaline for what was a training run really.

‘In big races you are going to find that extra half a second.’

Garland now expects his fellow islander to kick on and surpass his record by a clear margin.

‘He is already in low 49 shape and if he can get into the low 48s he will be guaranteed a place in World finals.

‘His hurdling is very good. The way he attacks the hurdle and then comes off it superb.

‘For me, if he runs really fast over 400 flat, he will run fast 400m hurdles times.

‘Once he goes sub 49 he will get invited to the big races. But he’s not far off it already.’

In terms of elite level technique, Chalmers has already graduated to that level, said Garland, pointing out that Chalmers is now working on 13 strides between barriers.

‘He’s already got the stride pattern of 13s, which is a pattern you need in world terms.’

And while Norways’s double world champion Karsten Warholm is undoubtedly in a class of his own with a PB of 46.87, Garland sees no reason why Chalmers will not soon enough be running in the same big European meetings the Norwegian frequents.

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