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Fifton progress receives recognition

PUBLISHED: 10:08 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 05 October 2010

RIKKI FIFTON has received recognition for his emergence as one of Britain s leading sprinters following a season in which he was named in the country s Olympic squad for Beijing. The 23-year-old, from Bow, has been awarded a life membership by Victoria Pa

RIKKI FIFTON has received recognition for his emergence as one of Britain's leading sprinters following a season in which he was named in the country's Olympic squad for Beijing.

The 23-year-old, from Bow, has been awarded a life membership by Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets athletics club, becoming the youngest athlete in the club's history to receive the honour.

As a promising sprinter at Bow Boys' School, Fifton joined Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets more than a decade ago and has since developed into one of the country's leading 100m and 200m runners.

He became the club's first Olympian since 1952 when he was included in the Great Britain squad for this summer's Games in China as a member of the relay squad.

Fifton was not involved in Team GB's disastrous performance in the 4x100m relay, when the defending champions failed to reach the final after being disqualified following a botched baton exchange.

But he did anchor the sprint quartet in a triumphant display at the European Cup in Annecy in June as the British men's team celebrated winning the competition for a fifth time at the Parc des Sports.

Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets president Terry Adams said: "This is a big honour and Rikki is the youngest person ever to become a life member at the club.

"We'd like to show local youngsters through Rikki what can be achieved by taking the trouble to come along to the club and get involved."

Fifton also received confirmation of his position as one of the country's most promising athletes last week when he was included in the list of 43 athletes to receive funding from the national lottery by UK Athletics chief Charles van Commenee.

Britain's poor record of four medals on the track in this summer's Olympics in Beijing has led to a

20 per cent cut in the number of

athletes receiving elite funding.

Yet Fifton will receive a discretionary award as part of the sprint relay squad.

Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuorugu, who trains at Mile End Stadium, and former Raine's Foundation School pupil and Beijing silver medallist Phillips Idowu are among the six athletes to receive the top level of funding.

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