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Lewis-Francis in confident mood

25 July 2002

Mark Lewis-Francis is already established as a world-class 100m runner and is quietly confident about his chances in the glamour-event on the track.

Mark Lewis-Francis

Lewis-Francis at the recent Aqua-Pura trials in Manchester

The 19-year-old has been in flying form this season and any worries about a recent hamstring injury have cleared.

Lewis-Francis, who turned down a place in Britain’s team for the Sydney Olympics to concentrate on winning the world junior title, said: “I’m here to win. The only thing in my head is gold. I’m not saying there is nothing to worry about – far from it.”

“This is a tough competition with a lot of good sprinters out there. It will be hard. But this is my first major championship and I’m 100 per cent prepared for it.”

Lewis-Francis whose personal best is 9.97, is fully aware of the quality of his rivals, who include team-mates Dwain Chambers and Jason Gardener.

He was also respectful when reminded of the history of an event which, over the years, has produced winners like Linford Christie, Allan Wells and Don Quarrie.

But the youngster insisted: “I’m not concentrating on anyone else. I have to go out there and do my own thing.”

“The history of the event is something to look at later – not before a major championship.”

When asked whether the final would be quick, he replied: “That depends largely on the weather. The track is fast and there is little wind in the stadium. If conditions are favourable, it could be fast.”

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