Prescod crosses line first in last week’s Muller British Grand Prix at Gateshead (Image: British Athletics via Getty Imag)
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Reece Prescod had a lead role in the Fast Show until he turned to fast food instead, writes Alex Spink in Tokyo.
He was Reece Lightning, a sprinter so rapid there seemed every chance these Olympics would be at his mercy.
But then he got injured, discovered the convenience of a home-delivery service, and went from cakewalk to cake shop.
“It’s Deliveroo that’s the problem. It’s just very convenient sometimes,” Prescod admitted yesterday. “I can do meal prep but when Deliveroo gets in my hand…”
He said it with a smile, which was good to see as this has been a difficult time for the hugely likeable Londoner.
Still, it was a confessional and he was far from done.
“I was also a serious gamer, a serious soldier,” added Prescod, who only missed out on becoming European 100m champion at 22 by 0.01sec.
Prescod says he was 8kgs overweight at British trials
(Image: Getty Images)
“During lockdown I was jumping on eight-hour shifts a day at least. I’ve got a very addictive personality. Once I get into something, I get into it fully.”
Remarkably, perhaps, he still made it to Tokyo, albeit via a discretionary pick from GB head coach Christian Malcolm after turning up at trials “well overweight”.
That only underlines the richness of his talent and having got himself into an Olympic Village for the first time it appears the penny has dropped.
Prescod: 'I have got no excuse, I need to knuckle down'
“I have got no excuse, I need to knuckle down,” he said. “I’m fortunate to be here. I need to lock in now.
“I have got to that stage whereby, I wouldn’t say I am an old man, but in terms of living like a boy, I feel I have done everything. Done my fun year. Gone here, gone there, been one of the lads.
“Now the only thing I really want to do is get better at athletics. That means getting rid of the cake and custard, just bring it home.”
Reece Lightning took European Championship silver in 2018
Things might have been different had he not done his hamstring and lost all momentum early in 2019.
He had just dipped under 10 seconds in his first race of the season and appeared on track for a medal at the World Championships.
The injury left him with too much time to think and he persuaded himself a move to the USA was the answer.
Prescod: 'You don’t want to let the country down. I’ve got to give it my best effort. Show more”
“I didn't know what was going to make me faster but everyone said the answer was America.”
Only it wasn’t, not for him anyway. He tried it, didn’t get on with it and came home.
Back where he is happiest Prescod is ready to step up. Watching England do the nation proud at the Euros provided a timely nudge.
Reece Prescod celebrates with the Union Flag
“You don’t want to let the country down,” he said. “I’ve got to give it my best effort. Show more.”
He has already dropped Call of Duty and is pledging to drink water, get his ‘five a day’ and go to bed earlier.
“It’s about growing up,” he concluded.
A medal here is unlikely given his starting point but his candour will be remembered long after the circus has left town.