Turnbull-Bester hoping his new techniques lead to a GB call-up
When Rhys Turnbull-Bester stands on the start-line in Bedford this weekend, he will potentially be less than 60 seconds away from fulfilling one of his dreams.
The England Disability Championships represent one of the 17-year-old’s final chances to secure himself a spot in the Great Britain squad for August’s World Junior Championships in Switzerland.
With just one 400m place up for grabs, it is likely Turnbull-Bester is going to have to run in and around his personal best time of 56.10 seconds to stand any chance of making the team.
For Turnbull-Bester, representing his country has been a leading ambition ever since he and the rest of the nation were glued to the London Olympics in 2012.
“I have gone up an age group this year and there are some good athletes in there so I will need to pull something out of the bag,” said the Red Lodge-based athlete.
“If I can make it on to the team for Switzerland, it would be amazing.
“It has been my dream to pull on a Great Britain vest ever since London 2012.
“That was one of the reasons I got into this sport and what keeps me going.
“To do it now I need to be the quickest in my field, so hopefully it comes together.”
In a bid to boost his chances, the teenager and coach Mick Graham have spent recent months honing new techniques, designed to shave off some valuable time.
The work has involved the bend in the knee and improving the forearm, with the aim of both to generate more power out on the track.
It has taken some time for Turnbull-Bester to adapt and he is yet to marry it all together in a competitive environment.
However, the teenager is confident that he is close to reaping the rewards of all the effort that he has put in.
“When you have done something one way for a long time, it takes time to get used to the changes,” he added.
“It has felt a little bit foreign at times, but the penny is starting to drop.
“Speed is a skill so you cannot rush it. If you do, you are not going to be very quick.
“I am confident in the new techniques and I can see it is working in training.
“I just need to put it together in a race to truly believe in it. Until you prove it in a race, you cannot be 100 per cent sure.”
As well as the 400m, Turnbull-Bester will also be competing in the 200m at the Disability Championships.
He heads to Bedford in good form, having won medals at the County Championships and the English Federation of Disability Sports Eastern Region Championships, the latter of which he was named Athlete of the Competition.