Christian Malcolm Voted Wales Sport Coach Of Year

dai-sport journalist Terry Phillips attended the Wales Sports Awards evening at Celtic Manor. Here he looks at some of the award winners.

Newport-born Christian Malcolm has been a major hit since turning from competing to coaching.

He was named coach of the year and presented with his trophy by former Olympic gold medallist Lynn Davies.

Malcolm, 38, has made a seamless transition into his relay coach role with Team GB. His men’s team won gold at the World Championships, setting British and European records, and the women won silver.

At the IPC Paralympic World Championships, he coached Jordan Howe to silver and Rhys Jones to a personal best in fourth place.

The BBC Sports Award came three days after Malcolm was voted high performance coach of the rear at the UK Awards.

His men’s relay team included Adam Gemini, CJ Ujah, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and they became the first British team to win a World sprint relay gold.

Christian Malcolm. Photo: Pradip Kotecha

“As a former athlete Christian has the experience and knows how to approach us” said Gemili.

“He knows what to say and when to say stuff. We get a lot of freedom, so having someone with his sort of knowledge in the sport, it’s brilliant.”

Welshman Malcolm, who retired from competition in 2014, won the 1998 World Junior 100m and 200m titles. He qualified for the Olympic 200m final twice.

He competed at four Commonwealth Games, winning 200m silver in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and a bronze in the same event in Delhi 12 years later.

Malcolm said after being named Sport Wales Coach of the Year: “For me, I don’t know how I won it to be honest.

“I look at coaching as helping out and just giving back, just trying to help the others and not make the mistakes I made in my career. To try and give them a positive pathway.

“It’s gone really well over the last couple of years.”

On GB’s 100 metres relay win: “Where Usain Bolt pulled up injured was right in front of me – about 70m away – and I saw him pull up and as soon as I looked I realised the race was still going on and thought ‘top two, ok!’ I looked back at Bolt, turned to the race again and I could see Nethaneel going crazy. I realised we have won the race.”

On coaching, Malcolm says: “It’s what sport has given me for my career. I went to school across the way from here (Celtic Manor, Newport) on an estate, not the most glamorous estate, and you know we love sport.

“Quite a few of us have come out of a Hartridge and come out of Ringland – sport helped us. Whether or not we went on to achieve at a high level like myself or Nathan Blake or Kevin Williams, or whether we helped coaching and just shape the future of the youngsters, and just giving them something, giving them lifeblood.

“I just felt that with sport you can reach for the sky. If you reach half way up it’s better than where you started, and I think that’s important.”

Michael Flynn, Newport County’s manager who guided the team to League Two safety last season, was among other coaches nominated.

Meanwhile, Mark James of Somerton Amateur Boxing Club in Newport won the Community Coach of the Year award.

Coverage of the Wales Sport Awards 2017 is available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days and will also be shown on the BBC Red Button at 5.30pm on Saturday.

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