Ayanful aims to forget awful season fast

PUBLISHED: 07:48 03 August 2011 | UPDATED: 14:54 05 August 2011

Eugene Ayanful has endured a difficult season

Eugene Ayanful has endured a difficult season


Sprinter suffers more disappointment

Eugene Ayanful is hoping home comforts and familiar faces can help him put a disastrous 2011 behind him as quickly as possible.

The 21-year-old was looking to put a disappointing season behind him at the UK Championships in Birmingham at the weekend as he lined up in the 100m against the likes of Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis.

But the former Havering Sixth Form College pupil bowed out at the semi-final stage, finishing sixth in 10.65 seconds, two hundredths of a second slower than his heat.

Ayanful’s failure to reach the final added to his list of regrets this season, with his failure to reach last month’s European Under-23 Championships in Ostrava topping the list.

But he has vowed to learn from his nightmare year, looking to turn it into a dream in 2012.

“I am a little bit disappointed with my run in Birmingham because I wasn’t able to post as fast a time as I have done in the big championships before,” said Ayanful, a member of the Spar Sprint Stars Programme.

“But I have to try and take the positives from it because I was racing against some big names and although I was nervous I realised guys like Dwain are just like me.

“The most disappointing thing is that I am not a good starter but in my semi-final I actually got a good start. I just didn’t use it and if I had I would have run a new PB I think.

“This just adds to my disappointing year. I’d call 2011 my worst year yet and I can’t wait for it to end, but I have to learn from these experiences.

“You win some and you lose some and it has made me hungrier for next year so I intend to win more in 2012.”

Despite running 10.37secs in 2009, Ayanful hasn’t got close to it this year despite training at Loughborough University, with his legal season’s best sitting at 10.53.

This has prompted a return to Lee Valley and the former Abbs Cross schoolboy is convinced the move will bring about a much needed reprieve.

“I’ve gone back to my old training group since the disappointment of the European Under-23 trials and I couldn’t be happier,” he added.

“I’ve already seen the improvements and I think I’m getting more help from my coaches, more feedback and the facilities are better too.

“It makes me look forward to next year even more now and it feels good to be home.”

*SPAR are official sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit

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