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Film review: Personal Best
Filmed over four years, Personal Best follows up-and-coming British sprinters on their journey from the grassroots of athletics to the international stage. The film is both a gripping portrait of the athletes in training and competition, and a deeply personal account of their lives unfolding – revealing victory, defeat, agony, ecstasy and the simple trials of growing up. For anyone who loves sport this is a recommended watch.
The life of an athlete is an existence built around dedication and sacrifice – overcoming pain and doubt on a daily basis. Sprinting is the purest form of sport and the most intense and prestigious of all the Olympic events. A brief moment over in seconds, winning and losing is separated by hundredths of a second, and athletes must find a way to push beyond their limits, both physically and mentally, in order to succeed. This struggle with body, mind, and time is at the centre of this dramatic feature documentary.
The film reveals characters at turns determined to find fulfilment, searching for belief, struggling with injury and trying to rise above their situation in life. This is an inspiring but genuine portrait of Britain’s youth and a penetrating study of the art of sprinting, peeling back the layers so we can finally understand everything it means to them as they are on the start-line waiting for the gun to fire.
Sportsister really enjoyed this film, especially the wonderful insight into the life of one of our favourite athletes, Jeanette Kwakye. If you love sport, athletics or just a great moving documentary then is is for you – and if you are thinking of dedicating your life to becoming the best then it is a must-see!
Sportsister has five copies of the DVD to giveaway – click here for more info!
Jeanette Kwakye – 100m Sprinter. 2008 Olympic Finalist, the first British female to reach an Olympic final since 1984.
James Ellington - 100/200m Sprinter. Selected for Team GB over 200m for the World Championships in Daegu. James has qualified for the Olympics in the 200m this year
Richard Alleyne – 110 Sprint Hurdler.
Omardo Anson– 18 years old and at the beginning of his career. 18th fastest in the country over 60m indoors in 2011.
Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine