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Woodford Green with Essex Ladies athlete Matt McLaughlin boosts Olympic dream by smashing British reocrd
“Competing at the Olympic Games is a massive dream of mine. If I keep winning races and doing well, than that dream will be getting closer to becoming a reality.”
Matt McLaughlin is a step nearer to achieving that goal after he smashed the British indoor junior 1500m record that had stood for 27 years.
It’s been a rapid and remarkable rise for the 18-year-old from Barnet who only took up competitive athletics four years ago and is now aiming to emulate the Olympic gold medal triumphs of his hero Seb Coe.
His victory at the IAA event in Dublin at the weekend, when he smashed the previous British record held by David Sharp by three and a half seconds, was the highlight of a successful start to 2013.
His time of 3.42.87 saw him take top spot and the Woodford Green with Essex Ladies competitor was delighted with his performance.
He said: “It was great and I am still buzzing really. I sat back in about fifth of sixth coming into the last lap and then I really pushed on. My last 200m must have been pretty quick because I won by more than a second.”
McLaughlin has been in fine form since the turn of the year and prior to his record breaking performance on Sunday, had already won a silver medal in the 800m at the Southern Indoor Championships.
But what had led to the young runner’s recent improvement? Like any athlete McLaughlin has to undertake a punishing daily training regime and he feels his results are down to dedication and hard work.
He said: “I have adjusted to the training and worked hard this winter. I have also been injury free which has been important for me as well.
“I train twice a day, in the morning and the evening, and I am running 45 to 50 miles a week and doing work in the gym. “It was difficult to start with but now I am used to it.”
While training meant that the 18-year-old was unable to attend the London 2012 Olympics it still provided him with inspiration.
As an 800m runner McLaughlin admits David Rudisha’s world record breaking display was a personal highlight of the Games.
But it is the likes of Coe that McLaughlin competitor looks up to.
He said: “We haven’t had many quality middle distance runners so he is someone I admire.”
Like Coe, who won gold medals at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games, McLaughlin competes in both the 800m and the 1500m events.
When asked if he is likely to focus on just the one distance in the future, he replied: “I want to do both because that is what Coe did.”
Given his undoubted promise and recent performances maybe Seb Coe will be looking out for the name of middle distance runner Matt McLaughlin at Rio in 2016.