Great Britain's Kyle Langford out to 'redeem' himself after 'lucky' Doha selection

  • Kobe Tong
Muller Anniversary Games - Day One

"It's been a really hard two months."

That was the reaction of Kyle Langford who, fresh from qualifying for the 800-metre semi-finals in Doha, was inevitably faced with questions about what has been a turbulent 2019.

The Commonwealth silver medalist was slapped with a £1,000 fine and final warning back in July after appearing to grab a race official, 74, by the throat.

Fresh allegations were then lodged by James McCarthy, who claimed that Langford had branded him a 'f***ing p***y' during the British Championships.

And Langford spoke with real honesty when asked about the storm that has followed him, telling the British press: "It doesn’t just affect my performance, it affects my whole life outside.

Langford speaks out in Doha

"I kind of struggled with it. It took a lot for me to try and get my head in the right space. I put myself on the line. I pulled out of Birmingham due to the fact I didn’t want to race on British soil.

"Unfortunately, I put myself in that position, but it affects me a little bit. I had ADHD in school and I’ve struggled ever since. If I was backed into a corner, my only way was to get myself out of it.

"Tonight didn’t really go to plan, I’m disappointed at the way I raced, but I’ve shown in the past that I get better as the rounds go on. When the pressure gets more and more, I like it.”

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Two

'I want to be a positive role model'

It's an episode that has taken its toll on everybody around Langford with the Brit keen to distinguish between the 'Twitter warriors' and those who 'understood the situation' as it unfolded.

The 23-year-old added: "I still have massive, massive support. I’ve had massive support through all of it. I’ve got to say thank you to them. A lot of people stayed loyal to me.

"I think it’s helped children and other young adults realise that it’s not just them that struggle with things like this. Hopefully, I can redeem myself at these championships.

"I want to be a positive role model, that’s one of the main reasons. I want to influence other people to get into the sport and I want people to change their lives like I’ve done.”

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Two

Luck for Langford?

The chance for what Langford brands 'redemption' remains very much in his hands and his compatriots Jamie Webb and Elliot Giles will also be competing for a place in the final.

However, even with world-leader Nijel Amos ruled out with an Achilles injury, Langford explained that reaching the 800m climax might actually be harder than winning a medal in it. 

But it's all mere details when, in the opinion of Langford, the very fact he's in Doha in the first place is down to luck. 

Langford remarked with great candour: “I’m truly grateful for the selectors. I wasn’t performing at the British champions how I should have. It’s very lucky for me to get selected, but you need a bit of luck on your side.You’ve got to put yourself in the right position to be lucky.”

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Two

Langford's Doha journey continues

Luck, like karma, is born in subjectivity and there would be a great many people in athletics who believe that Langford should be afforded no such fortune in Qatar.

But like it or not, Langford will be running on the world's biggest stage in a GB vest and perhaps he'll be thankful that it's a Qatari crowd and not a home one that sees it firsthand. 

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