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Athlete Tom Somers tipped to be top Great Britain prospect
9:00am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Sport
RECORD-breaking Tom Somers could be a top Great Britain prospect – but only if he continues to knuckle down, says his coach Geoff Barraclough.
The 16-year-old broke Richard Buck’s near ten-year-old national record over 300 metres at the English Institute of Sport, in Sheffield, clocking an impressive 33.73 seconds.
That was more than two tenths of a second quicker than City of York Athletic Club ace Buck, who has gone on to win multiple international medals as a stalwart of the Great Britain 4x400m relay squad, set in 2004.
Ranked number one in his under-17s age group in the 100 and 200 metres, and fifth in the 400, the acid test now awaits Somers as he graduates into the U20s.
Barraclough, who guided Buck during his formative years, believes his charge could rise to the very top if he puts in the graft.
He said: “He came to me as a 400 metre runner and I said he was too young. You need a lot of strength. We have worked on speed – that’s worked out – and he has very good 200 speed.
“I will be pushing him to do more 400s than last year to build up his speed endurance. That will help him in the 200s.”
Sprinting sensation Somers won the 200m at the England Under-17s Athletics Championships earlier this year, having finished fourth in the final of the 200m at the World Junior Championships earlier in the summer.
Yearsley-based Somers, a former Easingwold School pupil who is now studying at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate at Thorpe Underwood, clocked 21.36 seconds to win the national age group title.
“Talent is a marvellous thing, as is hard work,” Barraclough added. “But talent won’t get you anywhere unless you put the hard work in as well.
“As long as the interest remains and he keeps on working, Tom could be a Great Britain international. I think he has got every possibility.
“He is the best I have worked with since Richard.”
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