COMMONWEALTH GAMES: It was a tall order
4:00pm Friday 8th August 2014 in By Dan Barnes and Kevin Fahey
AFTER becoming a British champion and running for England at the Commonwealth Games, Danny Talbot could be forgiven for already being on top of the world.
But sharing the track with the fastest man on the planet has added even more fuel to the fire in the Trowbridge Tornado’s belly.
For a split second after collecting the baton from team-mate Richard Kilty, Talbot led Usain Bolt in the final leg of the 4x100m relay at Hampden Park last Saturday before the Jamaican superstar powered away, leaving the 23-year-old hot on his heels for a well-deserved silver medal and with a treasured moment for his scrapbook.
“In the cool room we all got sat down in leg order, rather than in our teams, and I was sat there with Usain Bolt on one side and Richard Thompson on the other,” said sprint star Talbot.
“I looked up at Richard Kilty and he had Nickel Ashmeade sat next to him – I thought ‘these are the moments that I race for and want more of’.
“It was such a strange experience to run against Bolt because he is one of my heroes. When he started to go past me, for a split second I thought ‘I’ve got the best seat in the house – I’m running in the relay final of a major competition against Usain Bolt’.
“But I had to refocus because I had Richard Thompson gaining on me and he’d run a split in 9.08 seconds this year.
“As soon as the race was over, I just thought that I wanted to do it all over again. Behind an Olympic final and a World Championship final, the Commonwealth final is one of the biggest things that you can do and the only one of the top teams in the world that weren’t there were the USA.
“That just goes to show that we are up with the best in the world and the only difference between us and Jamaica was that they had the greatest living sprinter ever on their last leg.”
Talbot also revealed that the moments when the cameras were switched off will linger longest in Talbot’s memory.
He said: “In the press conference afterwards, every question was for Bolt, even though there were 11 other athletes there too.
“But after the race, he came up to me and the other England guys and congratulated us all, and he did the same with all the other sprinters.
“He is not arrogant at all and is just a normal guy, who can run very, very fast.”
This weekend, Talbot flies out to Zurich as he gets his teeth into another major competition.
The Trowbridge Tornado added: “I think I’m lucky that the European Championships are so close – it would have been a huge comedown if my next race had been one in front of 10 people.”
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