Athletics Weekly|November 21, 2019
KALIYAH YOUNG was as delighted as she was proud when Great Britain won two gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in Doha.
Quite apart from anything else, she could identify with the two winning athletes. Katarina JohnsonThompson claimed the heptathlon title and, like KJT, Kaliyah is a multieventer.
As for Dina Asher-Smith blazing her way to 200m victory, it was another, almost personal success. For, like her fellow Kent athlete, Kaliyah is a sprinter who has excelled at the same distance.
Earlier this year she ran 23.93. Not only was this the top ranked time by an U17 in the UK but also the fifth fastest (for U18 women) in Europe.
It seems as if, at least for now and based on 2019, sprinting (particularly 200m) will be Kaliyah’s principal discipline. “Yes, well I had done everything previously as a multi-eventer,” she says, “but this year decided to focus on the 200m because I thought there was room for improvement.”
Considering she began the year with her PB at 24.72 you have to say Kaliyah’s instincts were right.
She gives an interesting insight into thoughts both prior to and during the 200m (at the Kent championships) when her personal best was set. “Before the race I went through everything in my head with regards how I wanted it to go.
“Everything went to plan and as I ran I ticked all the stages, the start … the bend … transitioning … the straight.”
Looking on at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford, that day was Dave Spavins. He was the first of Kaliyah’s three current coaches after she joined Medway and Maidstone.
“I was with M&M for three years but when David left for Dartford Harriers I went as well,” recalls the 16-year-old.
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November 21, 2019