Sprinter Matthew delighted to make his GB debut

Luton sprinter Gerald Matthew
Luton sprinter Gerald Matthew

Luton sprinter Gerry Matthew was thrilled to make his GB debut at the Mannheim Junior Gala out in Germany last week.

The 18-year-old sped to a superb PB in the competition, clocking 21.11secs in the process to easily beat his previous record of 21.25secs.

Speaking to the News/Gazette about representing his country, Matthew said: “I was pleased to make my debut as a GB junior out in Germany - it was most certainly an eye-opening experience.

“To run a PB of 21.11secs and win my race was encouraging and bodes well for future international meets.

“I was disappointed not to run the qualifying standard on that occasion but I do believe it is well within me and is something I will achieve later in the year.”

Matthew was back on the track this weekend too, competing at the British Athletics meet in Birmingham, as he was trying to achieve the qualifying time for the individaual events at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland later this month.

He won the 200m B event in 21.27mins for his club Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, but it wasn’t quite enough, as he heads out to the event as part of the 4x100m relay squad.

He continued: “The British Athletics League meet in Birmingham was my final chance to qualify for the individual 200m.

“I ran 21.27secs (+2.5) which sadly was not enough. but it was my third consecutive week of heavy competition and unfortunately I just felt as though I had done too much and wasn’t able to produce a necessary performance.

“I was able to produce consistent performances at the weekend so it only shows I am still on form and with a decent training block and some time to recover - I hope to end my season on a high.

“Despite not having qualified for the individual 200m outright, I have been selected to be a part of the 4x100m relay squad at the World junior championships.

“I look forward to good performances against the best juniors in the world and I hope it opens doors for me as I progress as an athlete.

“We have a very strong team as a whole and I am thankful to British athletics for acknowledging the potential in me and to my coach Jane Dixon for 
supporting and helping me get to the point I am at today.”

At the weekend, Matthew also went in the 100m B event where he came second in 10.76secs.

The Lutonian was then part of the Harriers team who came second in the 4x100m relay in Birmingham, clocking a time of 41.94secs, just pipped by Birchfield Harriers (41.55secs).