Guernsey Press

‘I’m absolutely going to go for it’ – Ala

ALA CHALMERS has given his reassurance that he will ‘go for it’ and truly treat spectators at the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ala Chalmers is aiming to break the Island Games 400m hurdles record, and his own Footes Lane track best, in his final on Tuesday 11 July. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 32235307)

The Commonwealth 400m hurdles medallist appears light years ahead of the opposition and, given his brilliant best of 48.88sec., would barely have to touch top gear to claim the Island Games record at Footes Lane.

But Chalmers is driven to put on a real shift for his 400m hurdles straight final, which takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 11 July, as widely promoted by Guernsey Athletics.

‘A part of me maybe a few months ago was like just go there, just get through it... but I’m absolutely going to go for it,’ he said.

‘I want to, one, try and break my track record – 49.87 – and then just do some other damage really.

‘I want to try and beat that [Island Games record of 50.41] and put some history down.’

Chalmers remains grounded despite his stellar performances of recent years, wisely so given his inauspicious start to 2023.

He lost three weeks of training due to a hamstring injury and, just when his opener at Belgium’s prestigious Ifam Oordegem appeared to be going so well, he tumbled over the 10th hurdle.

But he returns happy, healthy and looking to finally put down a marker when he races at this weekend’s Welsh Championships.

‘I’ve got myself back in a really good place now, which is nice,’ he said.

‘Physically and mentally, really good. I’m racing this weekend and hopefully I can crack on from there up to the British Champs and the Island Games.’

Chalmers will be chasing a fourth straight title at the UK Athletics Championships, which take place across Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July, forcing him to make a quick turnaround.

The Olympic hopeful is clearly a big fish in his discipline, the Games stage a small pond by comparison.

But he emphasised just how much this opportunity means to him.

‘To me, it’s more than just a time. It’s more the whole organisation of it and the whole event will be such a beautiful thing.

‘I’ve always said I want to run in Guernsey as much as I can and to have an Island Games, an international competition, there will be amazing.’

He added: ‘I would definitely regret not doing it when I’m retiring or 50 years old, and if I look in my cabinet and I had not got a medal from the Island Games in Guernsey 2023 I would be livid.’

Chalmers even admitted his race is a ‘daunting thing’ after being hyped up by so many as favourite.

‘I’ve just got to be on my A game and focus in and that’s all I can do really.

‘It’s going to be a good time and I’m really excited for it, yeah.’