Video: Linford inspires young Sutton runners

The torrential downpour didn’t stop hardy youngsters from having a great time when they raced each other in the rain and rubbed shoulders with one of Britain’s great Olympians.

Former Olympic Gold medalist sprinter Linford Christie came back to Ashfield on Saturday to inspire a new generation of athletes.

Linford brought his Street Athletics to Sutton town centre as part of the town’s Summer Solstice.

He met young fans, signed shirts and helped them register for the races.

The event saw youngsters race each other over 60 metres on Fox Street. Racers were split into age group categories, starting with the girls, youngest first.

Linford said: We’re trying to show kids that sport can be fun and anybody can run.

“They can take part in any sort of sport. Street Athletics is something I do myself it’s in its ninth year.

“We’ve seen thousands of young people taking part in races across the country.

“For us it began on the streets challenging other kids from other estates to race against us and if we hadn’t have done that we would never have got to where we are today.”

“This is England - the rain shouldn’t stop you having fun.

“It’s a great atmosphere you can get to know people and make yourself a better person.”

There was a carnival atmosphere with youngsters throwing Usain Bolt shapes at Linford, who took gold in the 1992 games in Barcelona.

Sadie Cantill 10, of Mansfield came second in her race.

Her proud gran Deborah Platts, 52 said: “It’s a brilliant - a fantastic get-together - especially to actually meet a great Olympic athlete like Linford.

“It encourages kids to aim for something a bit higher.Linford is a lovely man, he has a lot of time for everybody.”