Christian Malcolm: From reluctant sprint coach to award winner

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Sports Personality of the Year 2017: Coach of the Year

Considering he never wanted to be a coach, former Olympic sprinter Christian Malcolm is doing an impressive job.

Fresh from picking up the top coaching accolade at the Wales Sports Awards, Malcolm was named jointly Coach of the Year at the BBC Sports Personality awards.

Malcolm, Benke Blomkvist and Stephen Maguire helped the Great Britain men's 4x100m team to World Championship gold in the summer in London, beating the USA and a Jamaica quartet who saw their star sprinter Usain Bolt pull up injured on the final leg.

The GB women's sprint quartet, also coached by Malcolm, won silver at the event.

Malcolm also coached Jordan Howe to T35 100m silver and Rhys Jones to a personal best - finishing fourth in the T37 100m - at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

Not bad for the Newport man who was not sure what to do when he hung up his spikes in 2014.

Malcolm won the 1998 World Junior 100m and 200m titles, reached the Olympic 200m final twice, and competed at four Commonwealth Games - winning 200m silver in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and a bronze in the same event in Delhi 12 years later.

But the 38-year-old admits he has taken to coaching quicker than he expected.

"Yes, considering I didn't want to do coaching and even now I am still deciding whether I want to do it long-term," Malcolm said.

"When you retire you take the opportunities when they come.

"Being part of the British relay set-up and working with Disability Sport Wales are opportunities I have taken on and have worked for me."

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'He was my idol' - the Welsh Para-athletes coached by Christian Malcolm

Malcolm admits he was stunned to pick up the main BBC award in Liverpool on Sunday.

"It was an amazing feeling, just crazy and overwhelming," said Malcolm.

"I never thought I would be a coach and definitely didn't think I would be picking up these awards.

"It was a big shock. I have only been doing this for a couple of years and to pick up an accolade like that is amazing.

"I have always loved watching Sports Personality of the Year since I was a kid. To be on the stage picking up an award was a dream."

Malcolm is modest about the effect he has had on the athletes.

"I just go out there and try and help them not make the mistakes we made in our time when we were doing relays," said Malcolm.

"The guys and the girls have gone on and been successful.

"Big thanks must go to the athletes and individual coaches, because without them we would have not received that award."

Christian Malcolm and Jock Anderson
Christian Malcolm says coach Jock Anderson has been "a mentor and a father figure"

Malcolm admits he has been inspired by his own coach, Jock Anderson.

"Jock was and still is a mentor for me, a father figure in my life," added Malcolm.

"I have learned so much from him and would not have achieved what I did in athletics without him.

"He still comes down to the track now at 81 on a Tuesday and Thursday. He has had a string of illness and still turns up to give some advice.

"His coaching style is different to every other of the world-class coaches I worked with. He has helped me a lot to understand coaching and how to prepare athletes."

It promises to be a busy couple of years for Malcolm, with his Welsh disability athletes and the Great Britain relay squad targeting gold at Tokyo 2020.

"We have to be aiming for that," said Malcolm.

"Jamaica, Great Britain and USA are the teams that are always there or thereabouts in the 4x100m relay in the last 10-15 years.

"Jamaica has been dominant but the Bolt factor has now gone. The Brits stepped up this year and it's down to us to mix it with the guys through to Tokyo and see what happens on the day.

"The Commonwealths are also coming up and for some of them it will be their first experience at global level."

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