Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake: 'The elite mindset will always win the race'

Imagine your life changing forever in less than 20 seconds.That's what happened in May 2016 to Nethaneel Mitch...

Posted: Jan. 9, 2018 9:47 AM
Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 3:33 PM

Imagine your life changing forever in less than 20 seconds.

That's what happened in May 2016 to Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, a British sprinter who clocked 19.95s at a college athletics meeting in Alabama.

Lining up on the starting blocks relatively unknown outside of track and field circles, Mitchell-Blake crossed the line as the second-fastest Briton of all time over the distance behind John Regis.

He went on to run the 100m in 9.99s a year later in Columbia, South Carolina, in another personal best performance.

It means he is only the second Briton in history after Adam Gemili to break both 10 seconds for 100m and 20 seconds for 200 meters.

"It sounds very simple but trust me it's not!" says Mitchell-Blake, telling CNN Sport it's mind over matter that allows certain competitors to rise to the top.

"The person with the elite mindset, I believe, will always win the race," he contends. "It's about being mentally strong which allows your body to be physically strong and just committing to the cause."

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Commonwealth hopes

The next destination for the ambitious 23-year-old is Australia's Gold Coast where he will represent England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The sprinter is bidding to emulate the likes of Leon Baptiste, Julian Golding and Marcus Adam -- previous English winners of the 200m gold medal.

To have any chance of doing so, he will have to beat some of the finest athletes on the planet.

But, if Mitchell-Blake is to be believed, there's no secret to sprinting success -- just hard work and mental strength.

"There is a lot of detail that goes into different aspects of the race," he adds. "Me being a 200-meter sprinter, they say the first 40 meters is like 'free energy' so I try and really blast the first 40, trying to stay as close to the line as possible, keeping my shapes nice and tall, coming onto the home straight, and finishing strong.

READ: Scotland's first female Commonwealth boxer "expecting gold"

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"To shed milliseconds off your time, I don't believe there's an actual secret. Getting stronger in the weight room, getting faster on the track and allowing yourself to be focused.

"I go into every race to win, it doesn't always come out that way but I believe you have to have that mindset."

English sprinter Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake aiming for Commonwealth gold

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