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My World Indoor Experience

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Debo Ademuyewo

 

25 March 2008

Article by Debo Ademuyewo as featured in Athletics Weekly Magazine

 

The achievements of athletes at the World Indoors have been widely reported and for me it was a fantastic moment to be selected as part of the Great Britain team.

 

Selected as part of the 4x400m, I didn’t get to run – anyone who saw me there watching our guys in the heats and in the final will know I was nearly in tears – any squad athlete who doesn’t make that final cut will tell you that’s what happens.

 

But that weekend will easily go down as potentially the best experience of my life as it gave me that insight of what it takes it compete at that level, and means I understand more than anyone why athletes should be selected for championships on a development standard.

 

As a result I enjoy telling my story if only it would inspire other athletes to take that action they are considering to make that breakthrough in their career.

 

Having dallied unofficially with 400m for club events in recent years – I was encouraged to move to the longer sprint by my UK Athletics performance manager Jeremy Moody as he said my physique may suit it more.

 

Having spent time with Malcolm Arnold at a Warm Weather Training camp in Spring 2007, I was keen to link up with him. I know from my own strengths and weaknesses that I needed a coach who could make me toe the line! Experience has taught me that I need a routine to fit into, and I knew that’s what training at Bath with Malcolm could provide.

 

I work for Lloyds TSB and they have been massively supportive. When I told them I needed to move base from Cardiff they looked into the opportunity for a transfer. Having said that I would have worked shelf stacking at Tesco if that is what it would have taken!

 

The difference has been almost immediate. Finishing 6th at the UK Championships meant I knew I might be in the mix for a relay slot, but Malcolm said it if happened great, if it didn’t then I had made great progress already.

 

I took the call saying I was selected whilst at work - whilst sorting a money transfer at the time for a customer - and saw the UKA number flash up on my phone. Excusing myself for a moment, I took the call to hear John Trower telling me I was selected! Needless to say I had to double and triple check the figures for the transfer over the next few minutes.

 

The weekend was a massive eye opener that has given me the hunger to make sure next time I am selected I am one of the first four in consideration. It’s going to get even harder too. When the outdoor season starts I know that I’ll drop down the pecking order from 6th to outside 10 when the likes of Rooney and Benjamin start running.

 

But the best thing is, I am now equipped to go to an event and to be able to focus 100% on the job in hand. There’s a certain amount of watching and learning that goes on at your first championships – it’s only natural when you’re in a situation for the first time.

 

Now I’m hungry for the next chance and keen to see what lies ahead in the summer of 2008.