WHEN a young hurdler breaks a record that has stood for 20 years, you sit up and take notice - especially when the previous record holder he has beaten was none other than Colin Jackson.
The readers of the Pioneer certainly took notice when Great Sutton's Craig France overhauled the Welsh legend's UK U20 60m best in March, as you voted him Male Sports Personality of the Year.
The 17-year-old's record-breaking time of 7.78 seconds was achieved at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall as Craig struck gold in the Scottish National Indoor Championships, and it was the perfect way to cap a year in which he had completed a clean sweep of honours.
Craig said: 'I was fortunate enough to win all the major titles last year and secured the English Schools' Championship, English AAA's Championship, the Scottish Indoor and Outdoor Championships, the British Schools' Championship and gold at the Celtic Games. Basically, my success is down to training very hard.
'When I go out on to the track, I'm just concentrating on running as fast as I can and I try not to think about anything else. However, in hurdling, it's not just about who's the quickest. I would say that event is about 70% technique and 30% speed. This is my third year concentrating on the hurdles and before that I was mostly just a sprinter.'
Craig, who was previously with West Cheshire AC but now competes for Liverpool Harriers, was guided into the hurdles discipline by coach Pat Spencer.
Although the amount of training he puts in depends on the time of the year, Craig typically visits The Oval, Bebington, five nights a week for both sprints and longer runs.
Despite being brought up in Ellesmere Port, Craig represents his mother Diane's birthplace, Scotland, at international level and is highly-rated north of the border, where he was voted Scottish Athletics' U17 Personality of the Year.
Craig said: 'It was a bit of a shock really, I was full of the flu at the time and didn't really fancy going up to the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow for the ceremony as I felt very ill. But it was a great honour to receive my prize and I got to meet Liz McColgan.
'Since I decided to represent Scotland, I've found the training schemes much more friendlier than with the England team and the coaches are more supportive and helpful. I go up for sessions at Meadowbank in Edinburgh and Kelvin Hall in Glasgow about three times throughout the winter.'
Craig is currently preparing for a Scotland-France international meet in Paris at the end of May, where he will compete in the 110m hurdles.
His big goal for this year, though, is to take part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo, Australia.
The Games, for U18s, will take place between November 29-December 4, in the city situated in state of Victoria, 150km North West of Melbourne, and will be the second of their kind after the inaugural event took place in Edinburgh in 2000.
Craig said: 'I'd love to go there and it would be great to visit Australia as I've never been, but I've got to qualify first.'
Currently studying for his A-Levels at Whitby High School, Craig also has ambitions to eventually become a professional athlete, but he shuns the limelight.
He said: 'I don't like making a fuss about my athletics achievements and, to be honest, it's not really mentioned when I'm with my mates. But I'm grateful that people have made the effort to vote for me.'