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Colin Jackson CBE talks panic attacks, Tokyo 2021, and donuts!

The first episode of the Run Free Official podcast, where the lads talk to former world record holder, olympic silver medallist and 2 x world champion, Colin Jackson is out now!

Colin Jackson has revealed he suffered panic attacks when his illustrious career came to an end.

Jackson won 25 major medals before hanging up his spikes in 2003.

And the 53-year-old initially found life away from athletics tough to deal with.


“It wasn’t easy; when I first retired I had a lot of panic attacks because I was very anxious.

“I knew I could hurdle but I didn’t know if I could do anything else.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do next and I was really anxious and nervous.

“I went to the GP a lot, trying to deal with my anxiety.”


"... when I was losing weight I was running faster"

Jackson won medals at all major championships as an all-conquering sprint hurdler.

But he battled with eating disorders during his career, including when he set a world record when becoming world champion in Stutt

“I was very anti-drugs and there was no way I would take drugs to improve but I realised when I was losing weight I was running faster,” said Jackson.

“For a while it seemed to be working but eating disorders have an impact on your mind mentally as well. They don’t allow you to rest properly and I wasn’t really sleeping.

“Even when I broke the world record I had no energy after hurdle six and I felt like I was running through treacle. My body was in a bad way but nobody thinks anything is wrong when you’ve got a nice shiny gold medal.”


"...Dina is still relatively young so for her it gives her another year to improve"


He also spoke about how delaying the Tokyo Olympics could help Dina-Asher Smith strike gold.

The Games, which had been due to take place this summer, will now be held in July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Jackson believes that could strengthen Asher-Smith’s chances of claiming another global gold after winning the 200m at last year’s World Championships.

“For someone like Dina this could make a huge difference,” said Jackson.

“She lost the world 100m final to Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce last year but Shelley-Ann is right at the back end of her career.

“She might not even be at the Olympics next year now and that would take one of Dina’s main rivals out.

“But Dina is still relatively young so for her it gives her another year to improve and hopefully sneak in to take that title.”


"... I just love donuts"


As well as discussing some serious issues, the conversation wandered into some more light-hearted areas including Colin's love of food.

When asked about his passion for cooking and what he would make if he was on an episode of come dine with me, the former world record holder responded: "My spare ribs... and that's not me saying that, but others will tell you, my spare ribs are to die for"

"for dessert... well I can't make them, but I just love donuts.

"I'd have them for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner if I could!"


Episode 1 featuring Colin Jackson CBE is out on all streaming platforms now, and can also be listened to through our website, on the 'podcast' page.

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