Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake urges Great Britain’s athletes to seize their moment

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Captain Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake has called on Great Britain’s gladiators to take their chance at the World Championships.

The 28-year-old has issued a rallying call ahead of the Championships, which start in Eugene on Friday.

Mitchell-Blake, part of the 4x100m relay team stripped of their Olympic silver after CJ Ujah’s positive drugs test last year, has delivered his captain’s speech to the squad and wants his team-mates to seize the moment.

“What I said in the speech was that we’re the best in the nation, the one percenters of our country,” said Mitchell-Blake, who runs in the 200m heats next week.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Day Fourteen
Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake is in Eugene ahead of the Championships. (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I like to think of our sport as gladiatorial sport in that it is us in the arena, against each individual, we don’t have someone to help us or 90 minutes or extra time.

“We train tireless hours for one shot. So let’s go out there, give it our best shot and have fun, be authentic, and hopefully that can endear us to the public.

“It’s not always the best athlete that gets the admiration because it’s hard to connect with constant success. No-one has that in sport – we all have ups and downs and with the likes of social media there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect.

“We’re not perfect, it’s OK to have imperfections. I feel that the public can relate more with someone who is deemed imperfect, has overcome a battle and then has success because that’s how life goes.

“You have ups and you have downs, along the way you encounter success, you encounter failures, but what makes the success even sweeter, is going along that journey.

“We’ve all got a story to tell and that’s why I say be authentic when you have the opportunity, because it’s your chance to endear yourself to the public.”

Laura Muir opens her campaign in the 1500m at Hayward Field on Friday as the Scot looks for her first outdoor medal at a World Championships.

The 29-year-old, who won silver at last year’s Olympics, is joined by Zharnel Hughes and Reece Prescod with the pair running in the 100m heats.

Muller UK Athletics Championships – Day Two – Manchester Regional Arena
Laura Muir starts her Championships at Hayward Field on Friday. (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Holly Bradshaw is aiming to add to her Olympic bronze medal and goes in the pole vault qualification with Nick Miller (hammer) and Sophie McKinna (shot put) also competing on the opening day.

Mitchell-Blake added: “There are so many variables we have no control over.

“So what we do have control over is that lane, that runway, that throw circle, that matt, that pole, whatever our individual discipline – go out there, focus on yourself control what you can control and that’s your performance.”

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