Reece Prescod is convinced he will finally deliver on his talent after ditching his video consoles and fast-food apps.
The 26-year-old has been an infuriating enigma within British athletics, having so far failed to capitalise on his immense potential through a series of injuries and self-inflicted issues, which included an aborted move to America before turning up to last summer’s Olympic trials eight kilograms overweight.
He ultimately bombed out of the Games in Tokyo with a false start in the semi-finals, but is finally showing signs of turning a corner ahead of the national championships, which start in Manchester on Friday.
Reece Prescod let the pressure get to him as he bombed out of the Games in Tokyo
His improving form will be one of the key points of interest over the weekend, not least because he is closing in on Linford Christie’s British record of 9.88sec, with Prescod’s run of 9.93sec in Ostrava last month putting him No 4 on the all-time British list.The hope is that it won’t prove to be yet another false dawn in his career.
Prescod said: ‘This year is a rebrand.I’m starting again. I look at the rankings as being like the Premier League. I’m like West Ham and I’m just trying to climb my way back to the No 1 spot in the UK. Then it’s Champions League, competing against all the big boys. I’m trying to get back up to where I was before.’
He added: ‘I think mentally I wasn’t in a good place to even perform at the Olympics.When I look at it, everything was kind of just going wrong prior to the Champs, prior to the whole year, with injuries. I wasn’t ready for the whole Olympic experience and I think I let all the pressure get the better of me.
The 26-year-old enigma is convinced he can finally deliver on his immense talent
‘Once I came back I had a sit down with my coach and put together a three or four year plan. You are at the bottom of the pile, you have to work your way up.
‘With the gaming, I had to ask myself why I was actually playing it, if that makes sense?Was it because I was actually enjoying playing the game, or was it because I actually just was upset about everything that was going on – and just wanted to just drown myself and just play games and eat food and stuff like that? I was using the PS5 to distract me. But I think once a PS5 went it freed up a lot of time.
‘With my food I was obviously using Deliveroo and stuff like that.Now I am having weekly weigh-ins, which is good. It’s just every single area I’ve just got to improve slowly. Looking at it now, I’m 26 I’ve probably got another Olympic cycle to go. The talent is still there. I’ve just got to bring the best out myself.’