James Forman with his medal and trophy.
ATHLETICSIW ATHLETICS star James Forman is officially the best England has to offer.
The Newport hurdler, 20, is the new All-England champion over 400m, after winning the title at Birmingham in driving rain and freezing temperatures last weekend.
Having enjoyed great preparations in warm weather training, James was aiming to run under 50 seconds at the event but the poor weather meant that was not going to happen.
Despite that though, he went close, running a season’s best 50.51 to win his semi-final, before running 50.70 in the final to take the gold medal and trophy.
His father and coach, Andy, said: "A lot of the higher profile runners were abroad trying to get Olympic qualification times but that does not matter. He’s had a fantastic year already and he is learning so much from the experience."
James’s next event comes with the Olympic Trials in Birmingham in two weeks’ time. There the competition will be fierce, as four of the runners are already at the Olympic A qualifying time of 49.5, while two others are at the Olympic B qualification time of 49.8
" The competition will be hot because these athletes have run the qualification time, doesn’t mean they will necessarily get in. They have to be in the top three.
"What’s good is that James is in the top eight seniors, out of 245 senior hurdlers. But what’s even better is that he is the second-highest ranked under-23, with a year still to go."
There is still hope James will be offered a place to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Helsinki, but he will not know until the squad is announced on June 17.
"It is a very complicated affair, qualifying for the Euros," said Andy. "We have no idea what will happen."
• Video of James in action in the semi final - click here and from the final click here
• Video of interview with James - click here