Reality Check Sees Iwan Back on Track for Glory

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 14, 2006 | Go to article overview

Reality Check Sees Iwan Back on Track for Glory


Byline: By PHIL BLANCHE Western Mail

Name a television programme with 'Celebrity' in the title and there's a fair chance Iwan Thomas has been on it during the last year. Celebrity Wrestling, Celebrity Weakest Link and Celebrity Stars in the Their Eyes are all on Thomas' mushrooming TV CV. The former European and Commonwealth 400 metres champion even turned out for 'The Celebs' in Sky One's football show The Match, so you might expect Thomas' next career move to be either Celebrity Big Brother or I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

But forget the rainforest Down Under usually infested by Ant and Dec and C-list celebrities. It is another Australian destination Thomas has on his mind right now - Melbourne and next month's Commonwealth Games where he will wear the red vest of Wales for the last time at a major championship.

And, having returned to the south coast to work alongside Mike Smith, the coach with whom he enjoyed his glory days in the late 1990s, Thomas insists his appetite for athletics is as great as ever.

'I've never lost my commitment to the sport,' said the 32-year-old who has been bedeviled by serious achilles problems.

'I've had a lot of TV offers over the years and, because I was out for a while with injuries, I thought, 'Why not? I'll do some of them.'

'I haven't made a secret of the fact that I would like to do more TV in the future because the day will come when I can't compete any more. I've got to do something with the rest of my life.

'But it doesn't mean I've lost my appetite for athletics. In fact, the buzz is back in training and I want to enjoy what is in front of me.'

Thomas has gone back to basics to try and recapture some of his past glories.

Apart from moving back to Southampton and renewing his association with Smith, he is defying advice not to 'push' his troublesome achilles by pounding the sand dunes again.

'It's a strange situation because when I was at Loughborough I did everything by the book three times a week.

'But it never worked, so I've gone back to Mike and done everything for five months that people said I shouldn't do. …

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