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Feel the rhythm…it’s sprinting time!

Lemarl Freckleton aims to make 2021 the year he discovers a rhythm that’s unstoppable.


The Newport sprinter may be having to deal with the current restrictions of lockdown, but that won’t deflect him from long-term ambitions in his twin passions of sport and music.

Freckleton wants to run for Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and has set his sights on a place in the 4x100m relay team.

Running alongside that aim, though, are rap music plans for an artist known as L E M F R E C K who has already enjoyed Radio 1 airtime and was named by BBC Music Introducing as one of their “ones to watch” in 2021.


Despite his successes on and off the track, not everything has gone well for Freckleton in recent months, however.

The 28-year-old Swansea Harrier suffered the double blow of contracting Covid-19 and the death of his leading coach in London, Lloyd Cowan, earlier this month.

"It was just a huge shock, it came out of nowhere. I've not really processed it," says Freckleton of his coach's death.

Contracting the virus has also added to a difficult turn of the year, which hampered Freckleton's training.

"The hardest bit is once you're over it, being able to return back to training because there have been heart complications for athletes who have come back too soon from viruses and stuff. 

"So, I'm good but I can't really train how I want to train because I'm trying to be safe and careful. So that's where I am at the moment, just doing a lot of hill runs.”


Now based back in Newport, Freckleton has turned to former coach Kevin Williams - himself a former Commonwealth Games sprinter - in order to continue his return to form and chase his dream of lining up in Birmingham.

Talented enough to run at a variety of distances, Freckleton clocked a wind-assisted 10.66 last August - his fastest 100m time – but sees his future in a Welsh vest as a 400-metre specialist.

"I've been on the fringes of the Commonwealths now since, I think Glasgow, that was the first one we really had a chance to go to and we missed out on that. We missed out on Gold Coast by something like 0.02 from the qualification.

"So, it's eluded me too many times now. When it as announced it was going to be in Birmingham, that was the first goal: 'We are getting into that team'! It's just how and what event am I going to specify? 

"We did end up stepping up to the fours (400m) because I thought it was more likely I would run 46-47 (seconds) than it would me running 10.2 (for 100m). 

"But after re-evaluating and the years we've had, I do believe the relay team we have right now is the best we've ever had. I think if I'm thereabouts, whether I am in that strike four or in the team, we definitely have the chance to go there and do something great."


On the music scene, L E M F R E C K has been described as a cross between rappers Skepta, Kanye West and Childish Gambino.

He grew up in a musical family and plays seven instruments, but still can’t shake the sporting itch and says: "I still believe I have a quick four (400m) time in me.

"I think athletics and music are different for me, this is where they differentiate from each other. With athletics, I have clear goals and I work towards those goals. 

"With music, it's more about the feel, it's more about how it makes me feel as an outlet, as a diary if you like. 

"All the positives that have happened out of it, I would never, not for a second have thought 'hey, I am going to be played on Radio 1', or 'people are going to listen to my music ', so I just want to keep the same energy, the same purpose with it. 

"I just want to make sure it makes me happy, that's the main thing and everything else is a bonus. We are looking at making an album either this year or next year, we've got enough music ready. 

"I want to perform more and do a lot more live performances because I feel that in my songs there is an energy that people would enjoy live. And yeah, Glastonbury main stage . . . no, I'm joking, I'm joking!

"Life is so unpredictable we don't know. But as of now I'm just glad I have got the opportunities that I have, and it's the same with athletics.”


Pics: @lemfreck {Instagram}