With just 200 days to go until the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games, English sprinter Chijindu Ujah takes time out to look back at his own experiences of the multi-sport event.
Back in 2011, a fresh-faced Ujah guaranteed he would be leaving the Isle of Man with two silver medals around his neck, having finished second in both the 100m and the 4x100m relay.
His medals were two of 77 won by Team England as they topped the medal rostrum for the first time since the Youth Games were first held back in Edinburgh in 2000.
Since then, the 20-year-old has gone from strength to strength, becoming the fifth British sprinter ever to break the ten second mark for the 100m when he clocked 9.96 at the FBK Games in the Netherlands last year.
That time put him third on the UK all-time list, with only three-time Commonwealth Games champion Linford Christie and European champion James Dasaolu going faster.
Just last weekend Ujah took another step towards establishing himself as a serious contender, when he won his first senior title over the 60m at the Indoor British Championships in Sheffield, securing himself a spot on the Great Britain team for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Prague in the process.
But while it is shaping up to be a busy 2015, memories of the Commonwealth Youth Games still live long in the memory for Ujah.
“For me, the Commonwealth Youth Games was a great learning experience, there’s some good memories there, it was a great competition,” he said.
“For the youngsters who are competing there this year I would just advise them to go there and get as much experience as possible, soak up the atmosphere and learn as much as you can for future seasons.
“It’s not the end of the world if you go there and don’t do as well as you would have wanted, just learn from the experience, better yourself and believe in yourself that you can make it into the senior England team for the Commonwealth Games in the future.”
The Commonwealth Youth Games
- The Commonwealth Youth Games are a multi-sport event aimed at giving young people across the Commonwealth something to strive for.
- The Commonwealth Youth Games are also a chance for smaller nations to act as hosts.
- Team England have won 299 medals since the inaugural Games in 2000, of which 122 have been gold.
- A number of athletes have gone on to taste success with Team England at the Commonwealth Games and beyond, including Jessica Ennis-Hill (athletics), Beth Tweddle (gymnastics), Zoe Smith (weightlifting), Louis Smith (gymnastics) and Liam Pitchford (table tennis).
- The 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa will take place from September 5-12
- The Samoan capital city of Apia will play host to the Games.
- All competitors in the Commonwealth Youth Games will be a minimum of 14 and maximum of 18 in the year of competition.
- A total of nine sports with be contested: archery, athletics, lawn bowls, rugby 7s, swimming, squash, tennis and weightlifting and men’s boxing.
© Sportsbeat 2015