Plymouth hurdler David King leaps to UK number one after bright start
PLYMOUTH hurdler David King has consolidated his UK number one status with a scorching start to the year.
Although 2013 is still less than two months old, teenager King has wasted no time in sending out a warning to his rivals with stunning results in the under-20 category.
The former Devonport High School for Boys student has been winning races for fun, while posting new personal best times which has confirmed him as currently Britain's fastest 60m under-20 hurdler.
The exciting City of Plymouth Athletics Club product has also registered a new personal best over the distance – a lightning-quick 7.86 seconds set at the Midlands Championships, in Birmingham earlier this month.
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The 18-year-old had won his heat in 7.93secs, just outside his pre-new year best yet of 7.92, before breaking new territory for himself.
One week earlier on February 3, also in the West Midlands at the Birmingham Games, King had clocked 7.88secs, then the fastest of his career.
These followed new personal bests and podium-topping performances at the Midland Counties Open, in what must be his favourite city at the moment, Birmingham, in January.
In between were victories at the London Under-20/Senior Games, staged at Lee Valley.
King clearly demonstrated that he has the ability to adjust to senior hurdling by winning the 60s in a time of 8.03.
The City of Plymouth Athletics Club product has racked up more number ones this year than the Beatles in their heyday.
King is hoping to maintain his excellent form at the UK Indoor Athletics Championships on February 24, at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.
Although it is the outdoor season that is every athlete's priority, King admitted his winning start to the year can only benefit him over the summer.
King, who excelled in 2012, puts his continued athletics improvement down to the hard work and training he is getting at the City of Bath University, under acclaimed coach James Hillier.
"I'm just enjoying everything about it at the moment and know there's room for improvement yet," said King, a first-year undergraduate and member of Team Bath, which includes the elite of UK hurdling.
"The training is brilliant and James, who has been there and back at hurdling, says he's satisfied with my progress which is code, I think, for being really pleased. I hope so, as I certainly am.
"But there's no complacency or backsliding, quite rightly so.
"And I know how lucky I am to be training with the likes of Dai Greene, Andrew Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke, who are the top guys in the country. And that's what I would like to aspire to being."
Last July, King won a senior 110m hurdles silver medal at the English Schools' Championships and also a bronze at the England under-20 championships.