Josh Kerr: Why I need to secure Britain’s No. 1 spot before aiming for world championship title

Josh Kerr won bronze in the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics last year and has sighs set on the world championship this summer. Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty

He must first ensure his place. To be ready for scrap, the 24-year-old Edinburgh 1,500m runner is aiming to impress in his second Diamond League appearance today in Birmingham.

The Seattle-based Scot gets a top test in a rare UK appearance at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium where he also plans to chase Commonwealth Games gold this summer.

Building on his Tokyo podium, Kerr has already added the European mile and the British indoor 1,500m record to his collection in 2022. But after racing mainly in the United States since leaving the capital in The 17-year-old wants tougher competition closer to home to ensure he remains Britain’s number one. one – and then stalk the world.

Register to our daily newsletter

“I don’t think I can ever take my place in the 1500 for granted,” he said. “It’s such a profound event. And every year it surprises me with new people arriving. And I think that’s an amazing thing for us, because the future of 1500 meters running in Britain but a shame.

“Before it was like ‘you ran the norm, you just made the team. And so in the day, you’re like, ‘well, I wish it were like that’. But before and after, I’m like, ‘you know what I really like because that means I have to show up with my A-game.’ I’m always challenged on the UK circuit, I’m challenged a lot more on the UK circuit than I’ve ever been on the US circuit. So that’s what I like and appreciate.

Kerr is athlete first, poster second. His sponsorship of shoe company Brooks is reputed to be one of the most lucrative in the sport, but he has little appetite for cashing in on any fame he gains, raising eyebrows this week when he reported his lack of interest ‘in no any yogurt,” in a tongue-in-cheek affront to the countrymen who bagged the shilling from the sport’s main sponsor, Muller.

“It’s not like I like the attention or anything,” he smiled at a slight ruffle of feathers. “As you can see on my Instagram game, it’s pretty weak.”

He’s a fan of graft, a trait demonstrated and passed on by now-retired teammate Chris O’Hare, who blazed a trail across the Atlantic taking on the American milers at their own game.

“Chris said he wanted to try to be the best in the United States or whatever, and try to take that to the world stage,” Kerr said. “He admitted he made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I don’t know of another athlete who helped British athletes as much as he did by sharing his mistakes and making sure no one else commits them, especially with a transition from the UK to the US.

“When he came to the United States it was very frowned upon by British Athletics. And I think that has changed, thanks to more success coming from people going to American universities. There is still obviously a bit of beef there, I guess. But he pioneered that decision and showed that it was possible to be successful and take it to the world stage.

About Walter Bartholomew

Check Also

British hotel investor tastes a bargain on Rome’s Dolce Vita street

React News LtdThe monument building11 monument streetLondonEC3R 8AF React News is a wholly owned subsidiary …