Ryan Gorman insists there is still plenty more to come from him after he improved on last year’s silver medal to claim gold at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games.
Ryan, from Codnor, was among more than 1,600 talented athletes to descend on Manchester to compete in 12 sports across four action-packed days as part of the annual event.
And the 16-year-old, representing England Midlands, was one of the stars of the show, clocking 21.49 seconds to win the boys 200m in style.
But after battling hamstring problems all season, Gorman is adamant he will soon be posting even faster times - breaking the 21-second barrier is firmly in his sights.
“It’s great to be running the times I’m running at the moment,” said Gorman. “I managed to run two season’s bests last weekend so my season is finally coming along.
“I tore my hamstring in January and again in April so my season’s been about recovering and getting my strength back.
“The injuries were a massive setback and very frustrating because I couldn’t go under 23 seconds. I think I would have run a lot quicker this season, under 21 seconds, but for the injury.
“This is my second time at the School Games. Last year I came second to a world junior winner.”
The School Games has helped to launch the careers of a host of British athletes, including heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds who were watching on in Manchester.
And Ryan is determined to become one of the next School Games alumni to represent Great Britain at the highest level and admits that there is one former Olympian in particular he would love to emulate.
“My sporting hero is Linford Christie – he was very inspirational,” he added. “London 2012 really inspired me to pursue athletics.
“I only started in 2012 so that gave me all the courage I needed to try and push on. I’d love to get to the Olympics at some point and I’m just going to work hard to try and get there.”
This has been another excellent season for Ryan. He won every major Championship, apart from one indoor meet at the beginning of the year, when he had to pull out in the semi-final due to a hamstring tear. He has remained the No1 ranked 200m sprinter in the whole of the UK for the entire season and also broke the all-time UK 300m indoor record. He has also been awarded a Scholarship at Queen Ethelburga’s school in York.
n The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Manchester from September 4-7. Visit www.2014schoolgames.com for more information.