Worksop sprinter’s pride after clinching first national title

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Sprinting sensation Lee Thompson is hungry for more success on the big stage after clinching 400m title at the SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships.

The 20-year-old from Carlton in Lindrick has only been racing for three years but raised eyebrows last weekend with a dominant performance which shaved more than half a second of his personal best.

Thompson went into the championships in Birmingham as favourite in his event and held his nerve to produce a fast opening 200m lap before crossing the finish line in a time of 46.23 seconds to claim his first senior title.

The time was also inside the World Indoor Championship qualifying mark, which takes place next month.

“I didn’t really expect to do anything like that this weekend,” he told the Guardian. “I wouldn’t say it was out the blue but I felt like it surpassed my expectations.”

Thompson, a former Outwood Academy Portland student who now works in Wilkinsons head office in Worksop, was delighted to win his first senior title surrounded by some of athletics top performers.

“I was going into the championships ranked first but you always think ‘what if’,” he said. “Seeing all the top dogs there puts things into perspective.

“I was rubbing shoulders with Greg Rutherford and the like and it makes you want it more.

“I was comfortable competing this weekend. I wasn’t nervous, just excited. I’m hoping to take the same mentality into the world championships.”

And added: “I think winning it has given me more determination to achieve my goals outdoors as well.

“I’ll try and get selected for more senior teams. The end goal is to be selected for the Olympic squad. If anything it’s made me more determined. Tokyo 2020 is the big goal.”

Training around full time work has meant a busy schedule for Thompson who has also made small amendments to his diet and lifestyle to help him reach his goals.

He said: “I’ve shown a bit more dedication this year. I don’t go out as much, have a healthier diet and work harder now during training sessions.

“I haven’t had a drink since December - so that’s probably had a big part in it!

“I’ve cut back on chocolate and snacks and had more fruit. I’ve got more of a balanced diet now.

“I started when I was 17 but it’s probably helped me out to be honest because I’m not tired of it, I’m still enjoying it.

“I’m hungry for more, especially after this weekend, nothing beats the pride in winning a national title.”