Adam Akehurst took the senior Hampshire Multi-Events title and declared: I’m back.
City of Portsmouth’s versatile talent stormed to victory at the championships with a powerful performance full of promise.
And Akehurst insisted he’s found his drive for athletics once again.
The England international was a hugely-talented junior, who was tipped for great things.
But he lost his way as the draw of nights out on the town with pals became a greater attraction.
Now, the 25-year-old has rediscovered his love for multi-events once again.
Akehurst feels adding an enjoyment factor to his work has made all the difference.
And that was seen as he took the senior title, breaking through the 3,000-points barrier.
Akehurst’s re-emergence was seen as he threw the third best effort of his life in the javelin.
That’s after he implemented a new run-up he had been working on under coach Steve Davey.
Akehurst delivered a season’s best leap in the long-jump, with Davey coaching him over the phone as he missed the event through illness.
The City man believes he is benefiting from the enjoyment factor returning to his work.
Akehurst said: ‘I’m doing okay again after I laid off it for a while.
‘I wasn’t doing the training and ended up going out with my mates.
‘Sometimes you need that to realise you miss not being involved. I’m back and I was out there enjoying it again.
‘When I was throwing the javelin it felt like fun again. It’s the enjoyment I’m getting out of it now.
‘Sometimes you have the pressure and you feel like walking away if you’ve had a bad event.
‘I’ve been there loads of times in that position. But now I’m enjoying it again and having a good time.’
Akehurst already has one eye on next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But he is now gearing up for a decathlon in London this weekend.
And the national championships next month are also very much on his radar.
His performance on the county stage shows he is in good form.
Akehurst said ‘The javelin was good and the longest I’ve thrown in quite a few years.
‘I’ve got a decathlon this weekend in Woodford Green and I treated the Hampshires as a warm-up for that.
‘It’s an annual thing up there and I’m back on the scene now, so want to get up there.
‘The national championships are June 1 and June 2. That’s the big one for me.
‘Hopefully I can get up there and get PBs. That’s what I want to do this year and then work on other things.
‘I feel I belong at that level. But I’m enjoying things now and performing a lot better.’