After making it through to the World Junior Championships 800m final last weekend with little fuss, Garston’s Kyle Langford was feeling confident of claiming a medal.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, illness meant his bid for a top-three finish in the event was all but over before he stepped out onto the track.
Langford developed a stomach bug on Sunday, the day of the final. He decided to race despite being told not to – he said he would’ve been kicking himself had he not tried.
He explained: “I felt confident that I would be able to make it into the medal positions on the Saturday night. But I started to feel sick on the day of the race and it got worse and worse.
“We’re not sure what caused it. We think that it may be because I drank the tap water out in Oregon for the first time on the Saturday and that affected me.
“By the time of the race, I was being told not to go onto the track and race by a lot of people.
“I was determined though because I would have been kicking myself it if it was a slow race and I hadn’t at least tried.
“I was told to drop out if I was struggling at 400m but, mentally at that stage of the race, I couldn’t do that. I had to finish.”
The Watford athlete was at the back of the field from the outset as the Kenyan duo of Alfred Kipketer and Joshua Timpati Masikonde went off at a tremendous pace and maintained it almost until the finish; Kipketer winning in an excellent time of 1.43.95 to incredibly take almost two seconds off his personal best.
The Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier trailed in almost 12 seconds back in 1.55.21, more than seven seconds outside his personal best.
That time was also well off those he set in reaching the final. He made it through the heats with a time of 1.49.73 and reached the final by crossing the line in 1.48.76.
Despite the disappointing end to his Championships, Langford believes the experience will benefit him in the future.
He said: “Of course I can take positives. The whole experience had been excellent until the final day. My training went very well and I adapted to the conditions over in the US very easily.
“I was in good form and running well. It’s obviously a massive shame that I couldn’t set a time in the final because I wanted that to be one of the best times I had set this year and the conditions of the race were perfect for me to do that.”
Langford plans to return to the track at the Solihull Grand Prix 2014 next month and is hopeful of getting back to form.
He said: “It’s a race that uses a pace setter and that should allow me to post a good time. Hopefully that will help me bounce back.”