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Michael East is the Kicking King
Around the Academy:

Michael East enjoys his Commonwealth victory
Who can catch this boy when his feet kick in?
Stepping up a gear during any race is not an easy thing to do.

Especially after a gut-busting three laps. GB's 1500m star Michael East explains his magical kick.

Michael East talks to the Academy

I first discovered my turn of pace when I was playing football as a kid.

I could produce spurts of speed and after taking up athletics I found myself running quite quickly over 400m.

It is a natural gift I was born with but it's something I've had to nurture in training.

You aren't always capable of doing it in a race though.

Michael shows off his medal
Michael shows off his Commonwealth gold

There are many factors that can affect you.

If you're tired, or deyhdrated, if you haven't eaten properly or if you're stressed.

Deciding on when to kick is crucial and depends on how the race is unfolding.

You have to have your wits about you and think quickly on your feet.

It's a bit like playing chess at 40mph.

Timing is the key. You can only really sustain the kick for about 400m.

If you go too soon, you can come unstuck with 50m left when the guys are going past you.

So when you put the kick in and the other runners go past you, it's game over!

You just have to tell yourself that they're running faster and they're better on the day.

Michael gets kick
Can you kick it? Michael can

Another problem is being boxed in.

If you see swarms of guys coming around you, you have to try and avoid being stuck on the kerb.

That's when you've also got to make your move.

Winning Commonwealth gold was just totally unbelievable.

It probably won't sink in until I've retired from running but I'm a much better athlete than two years ago.

And I just want my performances to show that.

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Michael's facts
Full name: Michael John East
Club: Newham & Essex Beagles
Born: 20 January 1978
Birthplace: Reading in England
Height: 1.87m

Did you know?
Michael blew the opposition away at the 2002 Commonwealths in Manchester to win 1500m gold

Open Quote
If it's a slow race you have to be on your guard. You have to be patient, but I prefer that
Close Quote
Michael East

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