How gap year has helped Jonnie Peacock regain sprint focus

Jonnie Peacock: Refreshed.
Jonnie Peacock: Refreshed.
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Jonnie Peacock expects to get faster and faster as he chases a third successive Paralympic 100m title at Tokyo 2020.

Peacock is nursing a knee injury which has temporarily derailed his return to training from his ‘gap year’, which included an appearance on television’s Strictly Come Dancing.

But the 25-year-old Cambridge amputee sprinter, who won T44 100m gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, says his year out has had the desired effect.

Peacock said: “It has completely worked. I’ve come back completely fresh with that real hunger. I was definitely hungry before, but I’m even more so now.

“For me, this is still the start of a lot. There’s still so much I can improve on in my running.”

A recent stinging critique from long-time mentor Dan Pfaff – saying Peacock’s track start is worse than it was in 2012 – shows the attention to detail which the Briton anticipates will help him get quicker.

“He’s telling me how poor a runner I am and how much I need to improve on,” added Peacock, whose personal best, set en route to London 2017 world gold, was just 0.03 seconds outside the world record.

“There are some skills I’ve lost, that I’ve got even worse at.

“It’s a good sign. I know my body can go so much faster than I have yet. It’s exciting.

“I don’t like to put times on it. In my heats at the World Championships (in 2017 in London), where I ran my 10.64 (seconds), I eased down massively in the last 20 metres.

“There was no wind, the temperature wasn’t exactly great and I still ran close to the world record. There’s definitely a good chunk of time we can take off.”

Peacock will on Sunday be taking part in the Winter Wonder Wheels event at Eton Dorney, as captain of Team npower.

Instead of donning his running blade, Peacock plans to cycle due to a knee injury which occurred early in his return to training.

“I was about six weeks into training. It’s frustrating. I was meant to be going out to race in Japan and in my last session on the Monday and, in the warm-up, I just caught my blade a bit funny.

“I twisted my knee and basically just bruised the bone. I was hoping I’d be back now, but it’s been slower than expected.

“There’s no real issue. We’re playing it a bit safe. I’m hoping to be running again next week.

“It’s a bit more annoying, because it was a freak accident.”