18th December 2014


22 December 2014 

After running 20.37 over 200m this summer, Tom Somers (coach: Geoff Barraclough) has quickly elevated himself as one of the brightest sprinters in this country, with parallels drawn to the fastest man of all time – Usain Bolt.

Somers’ time set in the semi-finals at the World Junior Championships not only placed him third on the UK senior rankings for 2014, but also became the second fastest 17 year old over the distance behind the Jamaican 100m and 200m world record holder.

 Despite the comparisons with one of the greatest athletes of all time, the York-based athlete is using it has a positive to go on to bigger and better things in 2015.

Somers said: “I don’t see that as added pressure but more confidence going into next season. It’s a huge stepping stone from where I was at last year in terms of the improvement I’ve made. It’s unbelievable to be classed in the same bracket as the fastest man in the world. To say that I’m second on the all-time list to him is amazing.

“It’s a bit surreal being so high on the national list and showing that I can compete with the seniors. This year I hope to go up against them a lot more and prove myself to show I can mix it with the best in the country.”

The teenager’s breakthrough came in 2013 when he finished fourth at the World Youth Championships in Donetsk before his seventh place finish in Eugene in the summer. After seeing Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) and Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake) among others taste gold medal success in the USA, he is keen to make that next step in 2015 with a place on the podium at the European Junior Championships his main aim.

“Hopefully I can qualify for the European juniors and pick up my first international gold medal. I’ve made two finals and haven’t medalled, so hopefully 2015 will be my year. I’ll be looking to lower my PB again at those championships and it will definitely be a PB race to win the title.

“I’d love to medal like they (Morgan Lake and Dina Asher-Smith) did in Eugene. I’m just happy to keep improving, getting quicker round by round and running PBs. If I keep improving, the medals will come but it’s definitely given me that motivation to get to that next level,” ” added Somers, who is a part of British Athletics’ Futures Programme for 2014-2015.  

What makes Somers’ progression in the sport even more impressive is the fact it has only been a year since he fully concentrated his focus on athletics. Up until September 2013, the World Junior finalist had represented England at rugby while being a part of the Leeds Carnegie Academy. However, the decision to drop rugby was made when he was dealt with an injury blow, which left him on the sidelines for a few months.

“After coming back from Ukraine last year, I broke my wrist playing rugby in September. That was definitely a turning point and made me realise that it might put my athletics career really far back and it wasn’t worth that.

“I’ve now got a lot more free time now. I’m not giving up training or spending Saturdays’ playing rugby, so there is a lot more time to focus on athletics so hopefully I’ll see more development over the next 12 months.

Still studying in Yorkshire, Somers will have another big decision to make soon when he embarks on his next journey, which will see him move from his hometown to university.

 “There are a lot of decisions about where I want to go and what I want to do. I’ve got quite a few universities in mind such as Bath, Loughborough, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield but it’s all about getting the grades before I can make those decisions. Hopefully then I can be a full-time athlete next year.”

You can follow Tom Somers on his journey on Twitter here