Akabusi’s record is in Chalmers’ sights

ALASTAIR CHALMERS believes the long-standing British 400m hurdles record is within his reach.

Alastair Chalmers won 400m hurdles gold for the third successive year at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester last Saturday. He is flanked by silver medallist Chris McAlister and bronze medallist Jacob Paul. (Picture from British Athletics, 30969265)
Alastair Chalmers won 400m hurdles gold for the third successive year at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester last Saturday. He is flanked by silver medallist Chris McAlister and bronze medallist Jacob Paul. (Picture from British Athletics, 30969265)

After triumphing in Manchester to become British champion for the third year running and sealing his place in the GB team for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon next month, which was confirmed yesterday, the Guernsey record-holder entertained the prospect of beating Kriss Akabusi’s 47.82sec. run from the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.

The 22-year-old did, after all, recently stun in Belgium with a massive personal best of 48.88.

‘Honestly, I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s on the table now, and I believe that as well,’ he said.

‘Give me another few years and hopefully I will be there.’

Young Chalmers, who is ranked 12th on the British all-time list and not far outside Jack Green’s U23 record (48.60), clearly holds such stars in high esteem.

‘Kriss Akabusi is an absolute legend,’ he added.

‘Dai Greene’s right there as well – legend – and I just want to be as good as those guys.’

Chalmers has already shown the potential to break national records – he set the current British U20 mark three years ago in a close call with the 50sec. barrier.

He surged into the mid-49s the following year and remained there until last month’s breakthrough in Belgium.

What has made the difference? In Guernsey Athletics development officer Tom Druce’s view, ‘his attitude and dedication has been absolutely exemplary this year’.

‘I can’t overemphasise how impressed I’ve been with him in that regard,’ Druce said. ‘That’s what’s taken him from where he’s been the past two years to the level he is showing now.

‘What an ambassador for our island he’s becoming. And he’s not stopping there – this is only the beginning, I think he said himself.’

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