Indian Summer for Christian Malcom

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CHRISTIAN Malcolm is the first to acknowledge his career is now enjoying its Indian summer after he sprinted to 200m bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

It’s 12 years since Newport’s Malcolm – then just 19 – claimed his first major senior medal, just a few weeks after he was crowned a double world junior champion, at the Games in Kuala Lumpur.

He didn’t return to a major championship podium in an individual event until the recent European Championships, winning silver behind France’s Christophe Lemaitre in Barcelona.

Now – with proof that maybe sprinting life can begin at 30 – he finished third behind England’s Leon Baptiste and Jamaica’s Lansford Spence in Delhi.

However, with limited opportunities, he admitted this was a chance to win a gold that he wasted and may live to regret.

“I came here for gold, so I’m pretty disappointed,” said Malcolm. “It’s very tough but it wasn’t to be. If I am honest, it’s been a good year for me because I only started training this year in about April.

“I missed a lot of winter training with Achilles issues, and two weeks before the AAAs I didn’t know if I’d be fit enough to run them. However, I ran it and I won it.

“Then I went to the Europeans and I got a medal there. At one point I thought I hadn’t got enough in the tank for the Commonwealths, but I’ve got a medal here too.”

Baptiste won in 20.45 seconds – slower than the time Malcolm, who clocked 20.52 secs, ran when winning silver in the Catalan capital.

However, times were always going to count for little at this event, with many athletes still struggling to adapt to extending their seasons so late into the year.

“Hats off to Leon,” added Malcolm. “He’s turned it round this season and maybe proved to the selectors he should have got a chance at the Europeans. Well done to him because he deserves it.”

However, two major medals in a season is something Malcolm has not achieved since his breakthrough year in 1998 – and staying off the treatment table, so often his second home, will be key as he looks to next year, with the World Championships in Daegu the target.

“I know that next year will be a hell of a season for me if I can keep an injury-free winter,” he added.

“I’ve always said, as long as I am injury free, I’ll always be among the best in the world. I’m looking forward to proving that.”

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