Chijindu Ujah backs Britain to earn its go-faster stripes

The sub-10 second runner says Britain can become one of the best nations in sprinting

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The Independent Online

Britain’s most recent sub-10-second man believes British sprinting is on the verge of a breakthrough on the world stage this season.

Chijindu Ujah last year became only the fifth Briton to dip below that time barrier and he appears to have carried that form into the indoor season with a personal best of 6.53sec for the 60 metres, comfortably putting him in the world’s top 10 in 2015.

Ujah, 20, will compete with new training partner Dwain Chambers at the Indoor British Championships in Sheffield today for what would be his first senior title.

He said: “I believe we should be one of the top sprinting nations in the world. If we carry on progressing and pushing each other, this country can go far and see something that we’ve never seen before.”

Ujah burst on to the scene last June when he became the third-quickest Briton of all time behind Linford Christie and James Dasaolu, clocking a time of 9.96sec at the FBK Games in the Netherlands.

He then failed to gain selection for either the Commonwealth Games or the European Championships. And he admitted: “With going sub-10 there is always going to be pressure. But you’ve got to learn how to deal with it. I feel I’m stronger than last year and ready to run fast.”

Ujah, who took a prolonged rest over the winter, said he returned to training with “fire and hunger in my belly”.

He is part of a coaching group under Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo which also includes the Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford.

The pair race each other in training, and Ujah revealed: “We did some 150s and I was pulling away from him and he didn’t really like it. Greg is really competitive and my coach compares him to me. Greg’s a real inspiration to the group.”