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. 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. On the eve of the 2012 Olympics this film tells the stories of these young sprinters as they strive towards their dreams. 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.

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Verve Pictures


English (Stereo)

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