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Fantastic Fayers Wins National Title

Matthew Fayers U20 won the 1500m Indoor race to become  the senior UK champion at the British Athletics European Trials & UK Championships in Sheffield with 3.47.77.

The intial idea was to get a personal best and reach the final reports Stevan Dokic. The heats produced some upsets with falls and a disqualification of good athletes. As usual Matt stayed out of trouble despite a couple of clips and worked the last 200m to qualify in 3.48.9 and 3rd with a P B and a top U/20 all time list placing of 6th. His job was done, now for the final the following day.

Most important is the pre race discussion. This is carried out over breakfast and in the hotel lobby. The focus is to get in the right frame of mind. Over recent months Matt has achieved this, in his training, the right pace for this high standard race. Timing is critical and fitting in the warm up, drills and strides to be carried out before call up. I sensed that Matt was in the right frame of mind and with the tactics in place. He was to tuck in behind one of the favourites Charlie Grice. The target time of 3.42 was not likely but a good time to be challenged. Matt did the usual for the first 150m then proceeded to do his job. At 400m the pace wasn’t testing and Grice decided to pick the pace up and move to the front leaders. By 800m Grice tucked in behind the leader. Matt followed and seemed to be pressed into 2nd place! Not part of the script. Matt wasn’t used to this but I believe he has the ability to lead and pace these races. Matt lost concentration for several seconds lost places and found himself in 6th position. At 1200m Matt went back in gear. Nearly everyone must have thought he had blown, however those who know him thought differently. With the pace fast but not sprint pace the chance of a medal stared Matt in the face. With 150m to go the commentator mentioned ‘Fayers is a fast finisher’ as he went into 3rd and closing up on the leaders. 75m to go Matt was in his correct position to strike. For the first time I thought ‘he is going to win this’ a major National Title. The classic Fayers kick was on and he struck for the finish line. I and Matt didn’t quite believe it in our post race forum. But I have mentioned this before RACES ARE NOT WON ON FACTS ALONE, BUT ON TRAINED ABILITY.

Interview with Matt here.

Results here.