JOE Ferguson is expected to be driven around the bend this winter.

The sprinting prospect, 22, has now completed the athletics season for the summer.

The hard work has only just begun for the Darton man, though.

As with a lot of elite sport, analysis is key to making improvements and a plan has been formed alongside his coach Lewis Samuel.

The data is suggesting Ferguson can become even faster by improving his bend running in the 200m and that will be their primary focus in the off-season.

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Ferguson knows only too well how making minor tweaks can make all the difference and recorded a new personal best of 20.23 last season.

It earned him a spot at the World Championships in Oregon and it was a result of extra strength work.

Ferguson, who is in the final year of his Masters degree in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, told the Chronicle of his winter plans: “There will be a lot of track work, circuit training and gym work.

“It’s splitting hairs now and small margins, even for a hundredth of a second.

“We know that I can improve my bend run. Next year the aim is to be running sub 20 for 200m and we think the difference can be made on the bend.

“With it being numbers based, the coach can always predict what times I am going to run a few months in advance.

“He can see all the numbers. You have got to be more clued up on it all because that is how you make the difference.

“Getting that new pb was good.

“I was hoping to run in and around that time by the end of the season but we got there much sooner.

“The main thing was that I got a lot stronger in the gym and my starts were a lot better. I am maturing and I knew I had to if I wanted to make the same impression as I had done as a junior.”

That time booked Ferguson a seat on the plane to the USA where he competed well - making it as far as the semi-finals.

He had made it through the heat stage as one of the fastest losers with a time of 20.33 before finishing seventh in the semi-final stage against some of the fastest men on the planet.

He added: “It was an amazing experience.

“The World Championships is such a big one and probably only second to the Olympics.

“Your first international tournament is usually something a lot smaller.

“I was really excited to be there and I could feel the weight of expectation on my shoulders.

“It was a good performance and I showed that I am capable of holding my own at that level.”

Ferguson has now been able to take stock of the year.

“Overall it has been a really good year.

“I am really happy and I achieved what I set out to do.

“I missed out on the Commonwealths but made it to the World Championships.

“There were three major competitions in the year, so it’s been a unique one in that regard, but I made the most of it.

“The pandemic messed things up a bit but I feel like I am back on course.”

n Full athletics round-up on page 19.