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Louie Hinchliffe: GB sprint star achieves Olympic dream with help of Carl Lewis

Hinchliffe entered 2024 with a personal best of 10.17secs but, after just one winter working alongside Lewis, has shattered the 10-second barrier, claimed two significant titles, and booked his Olympic debut.

In fact, that has all happened in just six weeks.

Recording the second-fastest all-condition 100m in British history with a wind-assisted 9.84 seconds in May, he followed up that statement result by becoming the first European man to win the US collegiate 100m title.

In achieving success at the prestigious NCAA Championships – one year after finishing last in the semi-finals – he ran 9.95secs, his first legal sub-10, placing him sixth on the British all-time list while also making him the unexpected favourite for Paris qualification.

Despite the pressure of an expectant home crowd on Saturday, Hinchliffe again displayed his propensity for performing on the big stage, not only securing the top-two finish required for Olympic qualification but demonstrating his fearlessness and remarkable form to take victory.

Hinchliffe is the first to acknowledge the crucial role Lewis has played in making his dreams come true so far.

“He has made a massive difference,” said Hinchliffe.

“He’s a nine-time Olympic champion, you just have to be an open book and take in all the advice he gives you.

“He’ll make jokes and he’ll also be hard on you when something isn’t right. He keeps me on the right track.”

Speaking to BBC Sport earlier this year, Lewis joked: “If Louie goes to the Olympic Games and wins two gold medals, I’ll remind him that he needs seven more.”

But remaining humble amid the external excitement is at the forefront Hinchliffe’s mind and, with Lewis’ experience to learn from, he is continuing to take a breakneck year in his stride.

His first Olympic experience, now only a month away, will undoubtedly be enhanced by the presence of 1984 and 1988 100m champion Lewis, a man who knows all about handling career-defining moments.

And after witnessing first-hand the progress Hinchliffe has made during their relatively short partnership, Lewis is not ruling anything out as a debut Games approaches for an athlete he believes can go on to become one of Britain’s best.

“If he runs his best, he will make the Olympic final,” Lewis said.

“Once you’re in the final, you’re in with a shot.

“The limit [for Louie]? Thank goodness we don’t know. It means we can always strive to get it.

“My goal is for him to get to the Olympic final. If you get there, anybody has a chance.”

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