OLYMPIC gold medallist Darren Campbell has pleaded with Emily Freeman to stop settling for second best and start believing in herself to deliver on her potential.
The 29-year-old Mirfield athlete has established herself as Britain’s premier sprinter over the past 12 months having been the only one selected to run over either 100m or 200m at the Berlin World Championships last summer.
Freeman finished a career-best seventh in the 200m in the German capital and also lowered her personal best to 22.64seconds en route to the final.
Such was Freeman’s dominance, coupled with a current lack of depth within the British ranks she more than comfortable topped the end of season rankings in both the 100m and 200m.
And Campbell – who claimed 4x100m gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004 – believes Freeman should start expecting such performances rather than simply hoping for them.
“Emily is tough she has just got to fully believe in herself. “Top 16 is the absolute minimum requirement now,” said Campbell.
“That’s not to say that she hasn’t got any belief in herself but you hear it in the interviews she does after the first round and second round of major championships.
“I think one of the problems we have with regards to women’s sprinting is just making them tough. And I think Emily needs to make sure she is not just happy to be there.
“She has shown she should be there and that isn’t just at one major championships she has done it a few times now.
“It isn’t a fluke and it hasn’t happened by accident, she deserves to be there so she needs to accept that, deal with the fact that she deserves to be there and understand it as well.”
Freeman is yet to make an appearance this year having as usual opted to swerve the indoor season and a chance to run at the World Championships in Doha in March.
The British No.1 will still be busy this year with potential appearances at July’s European Championships and October’s Commonwealth Games both potentially on the agenda.
Darren Campbell is launching the Aviva Elevating Athletics Fund, providing the opportunity of free training and support to every single teacher in the UK. Aviva are also offering schools the chance to win £10,000 for sports facilities. To enter visit aviva.co.uk/athletics