Mark Lewis-Francis targets World Championships glory in build up to London 2012
by Lee Gibson,
Nov 14 2010
MARK Lewis-Francis has vowed to upgrade European and Commonwealth silver to World Championship gold in Korea next year.
The 28-year-old left UKA head coach Charles van Commenee with no choice but to restore his Lottery funding this month after finishing second in the sprint finals in both Barcelona and Delhi.
Lewis-Francis stole the thunder from team-mate Dwain Chambers at the Europeans in July before producing a stunning final relay leg to leave India with individual silver and 4x100m gold.
But with world record holder Usain Bolt and former world champion Tyson Gay in the field at the worlds, Lewis-Francis admits his London 2012 Olympics fate could be sealed in Daegu next August.
“You can pretty much predict where you are going to be at the Olympics with how you perform at the World Championships,” said Lewis-Francis.
“The competition is the same and that is what I have always been working for, despite the success of this year.
“But I’m here at the back end of the season now and I am over the moon about it and how it all turned out.
“It is still the same plan though, that next year is the more important year because it is the World Championships and the last major competition before the Olympics.
“For myself it is just a case of trying to stick to the same successful script which is to stay focused, train hard and enjoy the sport. I have a couple of months of hard winter training now but I am ready for it and I am going into it in good spirits.”
Lewis-Francis produced one of the iconic moments of last month’s Commonwealth Games when he repeated his 2004 Athens Olympics heroics to chase down Jamaican Remaldo Rose and power England to relay gold.
But Lewis-Francis admits his season – and his career – hinged on his surprise silver at July’s European Championships.
“Barcelona was very important to me because it allowed me to do what I did at the Commonwealth Games,” added Lewis-Francis.
“It gave me my confidence back and my self-belief back and I felt like I was back to being a contender.
“Now I feel like I have earned it (the funding) back but I can’t forget the people who helped me to stay in the sport‑, like my coach Linford Christie, because it would have been easy to just walk away.”