Harry Aikines-Aryeetey dreams big after nightmare year on sidelines

 

Gothenburg

Instead of The Lightning Bolt versus The Beast, the big head-to-head on the track at the London Olympics last summer might have been Usain Bolt against Harry A-A. It was a thought that inevitably passed through the mind of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey as he departed Heathrow with the rest of the British team, bound for the first post-Olympic international track and field championship, the European Indoors, which open here in the west of Sweden tomorrow morning.

After all, the south Londoner with the bulging biceps and the double-barrelled surname did beat Bolt's future training partner to World Junior Championship gold in Beijing back in 2006. Indeed, as the record books confirm, Aikines-Aryeetey won the 100m final in 10.37sec, resplendent in the red, white and blue vest of the GB under-20 team. Yohan Blake finished fourth in 10.42sec, clad in the yellow and green livery of Jamaica.

And yet when it came to the blue-riband event of London 2012, the men's 100m final in the cauldron of the Olympic Stadium in August last year, Blake lined up as the principal threat to the world's fastest man, having beaten Bolt over 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials. Aikines-Aryeetey was watching the action from afar, on the television set at his student digs in Loughborough.

"When I knew I wouldn't make the Games because of injury, I was heartbroken," the 24-year-old, who runs alongside Dwain Chambers and James Dasaolu in the 60m at the European Indoor Championships, reflected. "I wanted to take my mind off it and enrolled on a personal training course. I deliberately missed the majority of the Games, though I did watch the 100m.

"Doing something else helped me mentally. It was just so devastating missing out on the London Olympics. But it's made me as hungry as ever. I'm angry. I'm forgotten. The fact is that my progress has been halted by a lot of injuries. That's one of the main priorities, working under my new coach: keeping me free from injury."

To help prevent any future Harry A-A breakdowns, since last autumn the former teenage prodigy has been working under the direction of Rana Raider, the 2011 US coach of the year, who has been employed by UK Athletics to work from its new centralised national training base at Loughborough. "Rana's sprinting knowledge is unlimited," Aikines-Aryeetey said.

"He's changed a lot of things. Rana has that belief in me but we've got to take pigeon steps first because there's a lot to sort out."

Quite. With a best 60m time of 6.69m this winter, the recovering A-A man is unlikely to be in medal contention this weekend (in a British team that was shorn of the injured hurdler Andy Pozzi and 4 x 400m relay runner Conrad Williams). He is ranked only 26th in Europe. Still, he has not given up on his long-term mission of catching up with the speed machines he used to beat in his junior days.

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices