Teddy Wilson: "I Was Immediately Inspired At London 2012"

Teddy Wilson: “I was immediately inspired at London 2012”

We catch up with a Commonwealth Youth champion sprinter who is looking to build on what he hopes will be the first of many gold medals

Teddy Wilson

Teddy Wilson rocketed into the history books in 2023 when he set a European under-18 100m record of 10.26 at the Mannheim International in June. He continued his incredible form, ending a long wait for an English sprinting gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games when he topped the 100m podium in the Caribbean.


Having been inspired by the Olympians of the past, the Londoner is now looking to build on his success in the hope that he might, one day, become one himself.

How did it all start? What got you into athletics?

It all started back when I was about four. I know that sounds young but it was when I went and saw the 2012 London Olympics. I was immediately inspired by all the athletes competing in the track and field events there, especially in front of such an amazing crowd. It opened my eyes to what the future could be for me and allowed me to believe, even at that young age, that running was one of the many things I wanted to do.

How did you know you wanted to specialise in sprinting?

I knew sprinting was for me when I watched the likes of Dwain Chambers, Darren Campbell, Maurice Greene and Derek Redmond. I was captivated by their work ethic and their ability to give it absolutely everything in any race, regardless of the field they were up against.

Teddy Wilson (Mark Shearman)

Is it those guys that you look up to? Who is your athletics hero?

I’d say I actually look up to myself. That might sound a bit different, but I am very determined and I always set a high standard for myself. When I put my mind to something I give it everything and there’s not a lot that will get in the way of me trying to reach my goals. I’m also pretty positive and try to make the best out of every situation, whether that be on the track or somewhere else.

That ability to look for the best in a situation is great for an athlete as it allows me to continue to grow and, even when I’ve not necessarily performed how I would hope, there’s always a lesson to make me better in the next race.


You must have been thrilled with that European U18 record last year. Did you know you were in that kind of shape beforehand or did it click on the day?

Honestly, I didn’t think I would have run that fast at all. I had the U20 Nationals the week before and thought that might have an impact on my race pace but everything seemed to just click on the day and I felt great and really relaxed in my race. I guess you can say the stars aligned for me to run fast that day.

Would you say that’s the highlight of your career so far?

I think the highlight so far would be winning the Commonwealth Youth Games gold as I got my first of hopefully many international gold medals, which meant a lot to me. It also gave me a great chance to see what competition against other countries from all over the world was like. That gave me a good experience and set me up for the future.

What was that event like? And what was it like being part of multi-sport games? Did it give you that sense of what an Olympics might be like and how much did it spur you on?

The Commonwealth Youths was an incredible experience. We got to see people from other sports and from all over the world. You see how they would prep and compete against others in their sport. It wasn’t just athletes who do track and field so that was quite eye-opening for me. It also gave me an idea of what being at the Olympics would be like, especially how many other different food choices there would be for me to try and that is something that always gets me excited!

Plus, there was living the athlete village life and crossing over with such a variety of athletes and people. It really motivated me to train hard and take my game to the next level to make sure that I can earn my spot at the next Commonwealth Games. It’s an incredible experience to meet new people, not only from England but from other teams and other sports and really be part of an iconic global event. I loved it.

Teddy Wilson (Gary Mitchell)

You mentioned at the time that it was about not feeling the pressure and remaining cool, calm and collected. Is that your key to success?

I think that feeling of pressure is good but try not to put so much on yourself that you start to panic and get in your own head. It’s keeping calm and collected that always works for me and I think that’s partly the key to my successes so far.

It must be so inspiring with it being an Olympic year. How much do you look at that and think “One day that could be me”?

The Olympics is the ultimate goal for every track athlete and I think about it almost every chance I get, so it being Olympic year makes me realise that each day is an opportunity for me to work on myself to ensure I can make a future team and win medals for Team GB.

Who has been your biggest support throughout your career so far?

Throughout my career, my family have always been my biggest supporters. They encourage me to always do my best and always have a smile on my face no matter the outcome of the race. That is such an important part of it all – you need to enjoy what you’re doing or it’s not worth it.

And finally, what would Teddy now say to Teddy who was just starting out in athletics?

I would tell myself that things happen for a reason. You should always move on to the next thing no matter how hard it may seem at the time. God does things for the better. Oh, and always, always have fun and do things to the best of your ability. Give it your all and you’ll feel the rewards.

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