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10th Nov 2015

“Third or fourth in Rio would be exceptional” – Olympic medalist Colin Jackson speaks to JOE

Tom Victor

Colin Jackson has seen the good and the bad of British Athletics from on and off the track.

The Welsh hurdler won Olympic silver in 1988 and countless other medals throughout his career.

Similarly, since retiring in 2003 he has seen some memorable achievements from the sidelines as a broadcaster and was in the studio for Super Saturday at the 2012 Olympics in London.

But like many of us he will have been frustrated by recent revelations about Russian athletes and “state-sponsored doping” which could have robbed Team GB of more medals in recent championships.

Jackson spoke to JOE about his hopes for British athletes in Rio and a whole lot more.


“Team GB produced a lot of good times at the World Championships with some PBs and SBs, which is what you want to get out of the team,” he explains.

“The main thing is you don’t want to see people underperforming, and I think even those who might think that they underperformed did well. It sets us up well for Rio, and the positives are there if team GB approach it with the right attitude.

He singles out two young athletes for praise after the summer’s WCs in Bejing, Dina Asher Smith and Zharnel Hughes, and said “If we finish third or fourth in the medal table I think that would be an exceptional result.

While there won’t be the same home crowd cheering the Brits on in Brazil, Jackson remains optimistic that there is enough talent coming through the ranks to challenge on a number of fronts again.

As well as Hughes and Asher-Smith, there are more established names who ought to be able to bring youngsters through the ranks and set the country up for another strong showing.

“After a home games it’s always difficult to come close to that level,” Jackson says, but he notes that “We have proved ourselves to be a great sporting nation – not only a nation that loves sport as fans, but one that can produce world-class athletes.”


Jackson has also used his passion for athletics to help him achieve another goal, raising prostate cancer awareness.

He has launched the Go Dad Run campaign with the charity Prostate Cancer UK, a series of 5k and 10k runs to help people become more aware of a condition that affected two of his close family members and impacts a huge number of British men.

“It affects one in eight men at some stage in their life, and African and Afro-Caribbean men are at greater risk,” Jackson reveals.

“I found from personal experience that lots of men do not give much thought to prostate cancer until you give them the stats,” he adds, noting that gatherings like Go Dad Run and the recent PokerStars Lads’ Night In event can help get people talking.

“There might be one person in a group of five or six at a lads’ night in who starts talking about health issues, but that can put a thought into someone else’s mind who really needs it. The person who’s vocal might not be the one who needs to be, but it can help someone quieter.”