Great Britain

British Olympic hopeful Imani-Lara Lansiquot reveals how Geoff Shreeves has boosted her Tokyo bid

IMANI-LARA LANSIQUOT has thanked Sky’s Geoff Shreeves for helping her through a nasty Covid battle at Christmas.

And Britain’s 100 metres sprinter reckons learning how to deal with the pressures of interviewing Klopp, Mourinho and Guardiola on live TV is fuelling her Tokyo Olympics bid.

The Peckham starlet, 23, has formed a close mentoring bond with Sky Sports football journo Shreeves since 2018.

They speak most days and Shreeves was on the end of the phone when she was laid low with coronavirus.

Lansiquot, who will run the 100m in the Diamond League meeting in Gateshead on Sunday, said: “Last December, I had Covid. So did my dad, granny and boyfriend.

"It really hit us all hard. It was quite a humbling experience, in the sense that this thing doesn’t discriminate against anyone.

“I was struggling to breathe for months. I couldn’t taste anything. I still cannot smell.

“You could be the healthiest athlete in the country and still succumb to it.

“It took me months to get my energy back. It reminded me that this thing is really serious. I was panicking so much.

“Geoff talked about various footballers that had contracted Covid and saying how they got back to training.

“I had to be really smart with my running.

“Geoff was really great,  giving me advice before I got back into full-time training.”

Shreeves has been pitchside for top Premier League games for more than two decades.

The TV journalist has had several post-match run-ins with emotional managers down the years but is not afraid to stand his ground.

His partnership with Londoner Lansiquot is part of the Sky Sports Scholarship  programme, which started in 2011 to support the next generation of Team GB talent.

Lansiquot, a member of the 4x100m world silver medal-winning squad in 2019, added: “We talk all the time.

"I’d call him up whenever I’m having a problem.

“The great thing about Geoff is although he doesn’t play sports, he has had an incredible life. Lots and lots of ups and downs.

Geoff often reminds me I am not entitled to anything. He also reminds me to take my ego out of a lot of situations.

“He knows how to deal with pressure and TV and that is a huge parallel with my career.

"He has always given me sound advice, even though he hasn’t stood on the start line himself.

“I feel having advice from somebody who understands pressure is really important.

“He’s the most quick-witted person I have ever met.

“Honestly, the amount of quotes he comes out with, he should write a book!

“When I had a really difficult year in 2019 with injuries, he was one of the first people I called.

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“Geoff often reminds me I am not entitled to anything.

“He also reminds me to take my ego out of a lot of situations, which is great because his experience has taught him that.”

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Protester posing as journalist gate-crashes media conference shouting - 'f*** the Tokyo Olympics!'

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