London 2012: Michael Rimmer charts his Olympic progress with Lord Coe as his pacemaker

Michael Rimmer has already outdone Sebastian Coe at national level - now the real work begins.

Michael Rimmer

Just watch him Coe: Michael Rimmer is ahead of Sebastian Coe - for now

The 23-year-old is the only Briton to be crowned national 800m champion at under-15, 17, 20 and senior levels, a feat not even the great Coe achieved.

But Rimmer realises that he will be measured against the middle distance legend in Olympic and world titles and not national ones.

And to help him rival Coe, Rimmer is one of the 15 inaugural athletes in Barrie Wells' Sports Foundation, with £2m in the pot.

Rimmer will benefit from warm weather training and help with transport costs as he targets London 2012 glory and admits: 'I'm about three seconds off world record pace at my best - that's around 25-30m - so I need to sharpen up.

'The Foundation will give me a chance to concentrate on improving and closing the gap on the very best.'

To keep him fully focused, Rimmer has a chart on his wall and he marks off how far he's gone compared to Coe.

And with Coe starting to pile up the medals and world records between the ages of 24-25, Rimmer will have to hit the ground running now.

But he needs to slow down a bit if he wants to succeed.

By his own admission Rimmer is too fast over the first lap and so fades in the second.

'I will have to make sure I get an even pace between 200 and 400 metres and my coach Norman Poole is working hard with me on this.

Coe and Ovett

Gold in sight: Sebastian Coe (254) beats Steve Ovett to gold in the 1980 Olympics 1500m final

'I am a lactic animal - I build up too much acid too quickly - and although my early pace is my biggest weapon, it's also a bit of a problem.

'It comes from being a 400m runner early in my career [like Coe] and if I can sort it out, I'd love to double up in the 1500m [again like Coe].

'Sadly I haven't been able to get any advice from Coe but I was very impressed that both Steve Cram and Brendon Foster have taken time out during my races to ask me about my tactics. They have been a great help.'

The Foundation will ensure Rimmer can launch a serious bid for gold at London 2012 and he'll find his commitment to helping grassroots and club sport no trouble - he's already a seasoned veteran of the schools circuit in the Liverpool area and is only too happy to pass on advice and tips.

'I'm delighted not only with the help from Barrie but to be able to put something back into the sport because of it,' he said.

'But I've been involved in teaching kids for a while now and they want to learn so badly it makes it easy for me. But I want Oympic gold just as badly - and the race to 2012 starts here.' 


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