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Strictly Come Dancing: Iwan Thomas makes quick exit

Published 04/10/2015

Peter Andre with his dance partner Janette Manrara
Peter Andre with his dance partner Janette Manrara

Former sprinter Iwan Thomas said going up against the Strictly Come Dancing judges was "more nerve-racking than the Olympics" as he became the first celebrity to leave the show.

The athlete, 41, barely made it out of the starting blocks as he lost the first dance-off of the BBC One series.

He spent his career competing against some of the finest sportsmen in the world, including Michael Johnson - widely seen as one of the best runners ever.

But Thomas revealed that a few minutes on the Strictly dance floor was scarier than competing for gold on the racing track.

He said: "It was scary. I had my whole career against Michael Johnson, it was pretty amazing to look across at him and think 'blimey, he's fast'. But it was something I had trained for. It was my job. You know you are good at it. I knew I trained all year round.

"Training was the hardest bit about athletics, racing was quite easy.

"The problem I found on Strictly was that it was subjective and it is hard."

Thomas said he is "quite a sensitive bloke" and it was tough to take the harsh criticism dished out by the judging panel.

He added: "It is more nerve-racking really, in many ways, than the Olympics."

Thomas and his professional partner Ola Jordan failed to get the judges' hearts racing with their routines.

Their cha cha cha, danced to Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO, was branded "murder" by judge Bruno Tonioli and got them just 13 marks.

And Thomas lost out to Jamelia and her partner Tristan MacManus in the dance-off - having bravely finished his dance despite breaking one of his shoes during the exuberant routine.

The runner said "the truth can hurt" and conceded he was not one of the best dancers in the show and was never going to win the glitterball trophy.

But he said he "cherished" his time on the competition and will be tuning in every week to see how his fellow celebrities are faring.

And he revealed that his stint on the show may have been short but it has given him the confidence to throw some shapes on a Saturday night out in his home town of Southampton.

He said: "I'm not the kind of guy who would dance on a night out, but now I've done Strictly maybe I'll have the confidence."

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