Dobson’s England Debut
On Saturday 27 January, U20 sprinter Charlie Dobson opened his season on a high when he made his England debut at the Vienna Indoor Classic at the Dusika-Hallen-Stadion in Vienna, Austria.
Having suffered a dose of the dreaded lurgy which swept through the country over Christmas and New Year, Dobson had not returned to full training when he received his call-up, however, coach Steve Garnham was confident his protégé was ready for the challenge and so along with 28 other athletes – the majority of them in their 20’s, as well as team managers, doctors and physios, Dobson jetted off to a chilly Vienna on Friday 26 January.
Although gaining his GB vest last year, this was Dobson’s first meeting on foreign soil and an opportunity to mix with older, more experienced athletes.
“I shared a room with 400m runner Jarryd Dunn – another quiet ginger – but it was great to chat about his career so far and have someone more experienced to guide me. I was also lucky to have a good friend of Steve’s, Mike Leonard, as Speed Team Manager to look after me.”
With the 200m starting at 6.30pm, the last event of the day, Dobson showed composure and maturity as he warmed up and then took his place in heat two of twelve. Despite a relatively poor start, he soon took control of the race and crossed the line several metres ahead of his nearest rival in an indoor PB of 21.30s – he then had a nerve wracking wait as the other races took place to see where he had finished, and he was just beaten into second place by his England team mate Andrew Morgan-Harrison who ran 21.28s, just two hundredths of a second quicker!
Dobson is now preparing to compete at the Essex and Eastern Indoor championships at Lee Valley, followed by the British Indoor champs in Birmingham and the National Age Group Champs in Sheffield.