Christian Malcolm delighted with European Championship silver after 'tough' year
Colin Jackson hailed "heroic" Christian Malcolm as the Welsh sprinter ended his 12-year individual outdoor major medal drought at the European Championships.
The 31-year-old won 200m silver at Barcelona on Friday for his first major outdoor medal since finishing second at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
Malcolm's Euro achievement is a silver lining in his "toughest year" after having his lottery funding was cut.
"He definitely showed heroic exploits," said four-time Euro champion Jackson.
Malcolm secured Euro silver on a great day for Team GB who won six medals at the fourth day of the European Athletics Championships in Spain.
The Newport athlete admitted he suffered "mixed emotions" as he was pipped to the gold by one-hundreth of a second by Christophe Lemaitre as the Frenchman claimed a Euro sprint double.
Malcolm led the final with five metres remaining but Lemaitre produced a storming finish and dipped at the line to win in 20.37 seconds.
The experienced Brit, who admitted he considered quitting athletics when his funding was cut, showed his critics and those who backed his funding cut that he can still perform at the top as he won silver in the same stadium that his mentor and coach Linford Christie won Olympic gold in 1992.
Malcolm grabs 200m silver medal
Double Olympic finalist Malcolm, performing at his 10th major outdoor championships, feels he had under-achieved in his senior career after winning the world junior sprint double in 1998.
But he was determined to perform at the Europeans as he said before Barcelona: "How I perform at the championships may determine whether I will get back on funding for next season."
Malcolm has won a European Indoor title, a European Cup gold, a World Indoor medal, World Championship relay medals and has starred in Olympic, world and European finals - but now he has a medal to add to his 1998 Commonwealth silver.
"The most important thing is that Christian had genuine self-belief about winning the 200 metres," 110m hurdling great Jackson told BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page show.
"I understand what Christian said that he feels he has under-performed because he is the second best 200m our country has ever seen.
"He still needs to win one of these big championships - and it hasn't really materialised."
Malcolm admits an Achilles injury almost wrecked his European bid but now Jackson, the former 100m world-record holder, feels his European silver will be a great training boost ahead of October's Commonwealth Games.
And Malcolm himself said: "Now bring on the Commonwealth Games. I can't wait!
"It has been a very difficult year. To be here and win a medal is an amazing feeling. People wrote me off but I look younger than some of the other guys on the team and I feel it!"