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Mitchell-Blake is on the job

ALL GOLD: Mitchell-Blake with his 4x100m medal

FOR A lot of British athletes the scheduling of top tier competition this year means something will have to give as it’s very difficult to take on everything in once season. Not for Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake however.

The 23-year-old has his eye on competing in all major competitions this year including the World Indoor Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships. Having graduated from university, Mitchell-Blake says he’s ready to embrace all of the challenges that come with being an elite athlete.

CHANCE

“I really want to build on the success of 2017. I’m looking to get an individual medal on a global stage. The World Indoors, the Commonwealth Games and Europeans give me a chance to do that,” he said. “It’s a profession now. It’s my career. When I left the house the other day I said ‘I’m off to work Mum’, she laughed at me.

“I understand that the career in the sport is short-lived when it’s compared to other careers so I have to make the most of it while the sun shines and embrace the opportunity I have to do something I love for a living.

“At university I didn’t have much time mentally to think about it. When I was at the track, I was focused but my main priority was graduating. Now my priority is having a successful career. I want to find the right way to balance it out without putting too much pressure on myself. Obviously it’s a demanding sport. It’s a performance sport. It’s an individual sport. You get judged on your times.”


RUNNING MAN: The sprinter is highly ambitious

Finishing just outside of the individual medals and anchoring Britain’s 4x100m relay team to a first ever world title were two of Mitchell-Blake’s proudest moments in 2017 and while he’s dined out on the success in as many ways as possible, he recognises that the fun is over now, it’s time to get to work again.

BELIEVE

“To place fourth in the world isn’t easy, especially going into the World Championships after a pretty demanding collegiate season. Hopefully I can find a balance from going from college to professional,” he added.

“I won medals – that’s how we’re judged in the sport. I’m 23 but why not try now and reach the top? People in the past have done it – not that I’m comparing myself to anybody else – but I believe it can be done.

“I want to be the best. I don’t want to be a lane-filler. I want medals. That’s what you’re judged by and that’s what I’m capable of doing. I’m my harshest critic. I expect more from myself than probably anyone else out there. But external pressure doesn’t faze me. I control what I do more than anyone else.”

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