athletics

"I just sat there and prayed, Lord is this the end of my career?"

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

On this week’s Planet Sport we featured a double-header of serious Athletic talent, USA’s World and Olympic Triple Jump Champion, Christian Taylor, spoke to us about where his identity lies, plus Kyron McMaster speaks about winning the British Virgin Island’s first Commonwealth Games medal!

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"I think every person has the power to achieve, if they believe"

Credit: British Athletics/Getty

Credit: British Athletics/Getty

Last weekend we attended the Birmingham Athletics Grand Prix, which is regarded as the best one-day indoor athletics event in the world!

Reporter Tom Ellis, caught up with the likes of Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the joint fastest woman in the world over 100 metres last year - plus GB Hurdler Cindy Ofili.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"It's been a wonderful year of great sporting success across the board"

Kylian Mbappe lifted the World Cup with France at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia

Kylian Mbappe lifted the World Cup with France at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia

This week on Planet Sport it’s the turn of our Sports Reporters to give their sporting highlights from the year 2018! Featuring France wonderkid Kylian Mbappe and USA Sprint sensation, Ronnie Baker! Listen in to the annual highlights of Solomon Ashoms, Norman Brierley and Liam Flint:

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"What kept me steady was knowing that God had created me to be there"

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American track athlete, Madeline Manning-Mims made history in clinching Gold at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. As a black athlete, her journey of challenging racial prejudice has left a long-lasting impact even today! She later went on to become a 4-time Olympian, a coach, a gospel singer and a chaplain.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

Ezinne Okparaebo: 3-time Olympian and Norwegian 100m record holder!

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Being the national record holder for any sporting event is highly impressive, but Ezinne Okparaebo has taken the 100m title for multiple years in a row, making her the undisputed, fastest woman in Norway!

Nigeria-born Ezinne, has turned out at 3 Olympic Games, Beijing, London and Rio, and still has hopes of making it 4 when Tokyo 2020 comes around.

We spoke to Ezinne about her love for the track, how she made a life herself in Scandinavia and importantly how her faith in Jesus has impacted on her career.

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

From child soldier to Olympian!

Julius Achon speaking to Planet Sport's Tom Ellis at the 2018 CW Games. 

Julius Achon speaking to Planet Sport's Tom Ellis at the 2018 CW Games. 

Planet Sport caught up with a Ugandan track legend, Julius Achon to hear about his amazing journey of facing adversity, pursuing his dreams and ultimately becoming an Olympian! 

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"I knew that if I really worked hard, it could happen"- Kare Adenegen

Credit- British Athletics/ Getty Images

Credit- British Athletics/ Getty Images

Planet Sport caught up with wheelchair racer Kare Adenegen, who in June, set the British T34 World Record. She tells us how it feels to be a world record holder and how her faith as a follower of Jesus Christ impacts her life on and off the track.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"Deep down I'm a fighter and I'm not going to give up"- Wenda Nel

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Olympic Hurdler Wenda Nel spoke to Planet Sport's Norman Brierley about what has been a tough season for the South African, but also how despite all of this, she continues to fight, to be an example to others and to 'live out the gift that she has been given'.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

Charl Du Toit: South African Double Paralympic & World Champion

Charl Du Toit with Planet Sport's Tom Ellis

Charl Du Toit with Planet Sport's Tom Ellis

South African Charl Du Toit  is a reigning double World and Paralympic sprint champion.  Competing in the T37 class for athletes with Cerebral Palsy.

He won gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio in the 100m and 400m, before sitting a new world record for the T37 100m of 11.35 seconds at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia!

Planet Sport's Tom Ellis caught up with Charl at the Commonwealth Games in April to find out more about this exceptional athlete and his life, career and faith:

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Charl below:

Ronald Levy on winning Gold, the power of prayer and listening to his mother

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Jamaica have long been known for producing world-class athletes, one of the current generation is Ronald Levy. The 25-year-old Hurdler came home with Gold from the Commonwealth Games, with his fellow-countryman Hansel Parchment, taking Silver. 

Planet Sport caught up with the champion to reflect on what it means to be the best and to pick his brains on how to bounce back from life's challenges.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview with Ronald below:

"I was told that I would never walk again"- Jarryd Wallace

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In interview with USA's Paralympic sprinter, Jarryd Wallace. . .

Speaking to Planet Sport on:

The ultimate career ambition. . . "A Paralympic medal would be nice, I've been fortunate enough to win a gold in every level of competition besides the Paralympics, so I've got eyes on Tokyo 2020. But It's not forever and when the Lord says I'm done, I'm done and I'll go through the next door that he opens." 

The message he's trying to display through his athletics. . . "I think the biggest thing as an athlete and a believer is consistency, how we respond to the outcome of a race or how we respond in victory. Also having the opportunities to build and cultivate relationships with fans and room with athletes, it's a great basis to share my faith."

How much his faith impacts his athletic performance . . ."It's a huge part of it, the reality of it is that seven years ago I was told that I would never walk again and had my leg amputated. I had the dream not just to walk, but to run at the highest level and so every day that I get to run is a gift and a blessing. That's what keeps me motivated."

What difference his faith makes to his life outlook. . . "It makes both winning and losing just easier and there is no pressure. Obviously it's fun to win races and it's fun to run fast but at the end of the day I'm not defined by one race or one time. It gives me freedom to enjoy the sport and enjoy the competition, some days it comes together and when it doesn't, that's just part of it."

 

 

Getting through the ups and downs. . ."My highs aren't too high and my lows aren't too low. I just maintain purpose, focus and I think my plateau is higher than most which is exciting."

The pattern of Christian athletes in USA Track & Field. . ."It's been really cool to watch my generation stepping out and being bold in their faith. You look at the world and society that we live in and it's based on performance or who can get what. It's a lot about take and not a lot about give but if you look at the gospel, it's our job to love and serve others. The attitude and the basis of faith for us as athletes is a huge part of us finding joy, regardless of the outcome."

Racing against your roommate- Meet Dyan Buis & Charl Du Toit

Dyan Buis (L) with Charl Du Toit (R)

Dyan Buis (L) with Charl Du Toit (R)

Dyan Buis and Charl Du Toit are the epitome of a competitive friendship, the two South African Para athletes, both medaled at this year's Commonwealth Games, running in the same T38 category event. Fierce competitors on the track, they also share a deep friendship off it, where they share a common love for their sport and their faith in Jesus. 

Planet Sport's Tom Ellis caught up with the pair, before and after their medal-winning exploits to talk about what it means to represent their country together and how the focus on para-athletes is growing. 

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

Akani Simbine- On being the fastest man in the Commonwealth

South Africa's Akani Simbine & Henricho Bruintjies

South Africa's Akani Simbine & Henricho Bruintjies

South Africa's Akani Simbine, is a rising star in world athletics and he took things to a new level with an eye-catching Gold medal run in the Commonwealth Games. In pipping the much-fancied Jamaican, Yohan Blake, he is officially the fastest man in the Commonwealth over 100m.

Planet Sport's Tom Ellis caught up with the Simbine and his fellow countryman, Henricho Bruintjies who clinched Silver on Gold Coast, Australia. 

Here's what they made of their one-two podium finish:

Day 4: Patience is a virtue

Jereem 'The Dream' Richards- Trinidad & Tobago

Jereem 'The Dream' Richards- Trinidad & Tobago

As we enter Day 4, it seems unbelievable that we are half way through our trip to the Gold Coast. Time has flown and now that the medals are being dished out thick and fast, the battle of Australia vs England to end up on top of the table is hotting up. 

To this point, we've patiently been waiting for the Games to kick off, for interviews to come through and for our work to take shape. We are now building momentum and seeing some great opportunities present themselves, in the shape of great athlete stories, testimonies and networking with other organisations. 

Our preparation which started a week before the Games began is now bearing fruit and we are very encouraged with what we are able to produce, our shows will hopefully be testament to that!

Day 3: Australia start strongly & so do we

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By Liam Flint

The last couple of days have seen a sharp rise in activity on the Gold Coast, transport has been maxed out as ticket-holders look to reach venues and the tourist hotspots. Australia's strong start, especially in the pool, has given locals an air of excitement and truly ignited the underlying passion that everyone is feeling towards the Games.

The carnival and festival scene has also really kicked off along the coast, supplying beach-goers on Surfers Paradise with 'voices from the commonwealth' every evening. 

Njiel Amos- Botswana

Njiel Amos- Botswana

We have done a lot of travelling, up and down the Gold Coast tram link, in our attempts to be in the best spot at the right time. We have been capturing features for our Planet Sport show, soaking up the atmosphere and busily arranging interviews with athletes from around the Commonwealth.

We spoke to Botswana runner Nijel Amos, the Commonwealth Games reigning champion over 800m. He is always a great character and he has a real zest for life, he is always more than happy to talk about his faith, what it means to him and how much God is his motivation for being the best.

Charl Du Toit- South Africa

Charl Du Toit- South Africa

The Para events are being run alongside the Commonwealth Games schedule at this Games, which is a big step in the right direction for equal coverage and Games reputation. On this note, we spoke to South African runner in the T37 category, Charl Du Toit about this shift in how things are done. He was excited to be in and around the entire Team South Africa and fancies his chances at a medal. He did stress that he wasn't looking as high as Gold though!