Series01 Jul 2013

Dai Greene: "no margin for error" on the road to Moscow – IAAF Online Diaries


World 400m Hurdles champion Dai Greene (© Getty Images)

“Hi, again. Those of you following my results this season will know I've been a little down on my best but, after undergoing hernia surgery in March, all I can say is that I'm getting fitter, and now I just need to get on with it.

“I have six weeks until Moscow to get ready, and I still have enough time to reach 100 per cent. The hernia had set me back for a time from running at full speed, but I've been doing full sessions for about two-and-a-half weeks now.

“What would really put the cat among the pigeons is if I encountered another problem between now and the World Championships. There is really no margin for error, but I'm still confident I can improve my times and get in good shape for Moscow. I'd rate myself at about 7.5 out of 10 at the moment.

“It is never a nice feeling to be beaten by guys who are in top shape, but it is all about performing at the big championships and I have proved in the past I can do that. I take heart when I look at Felix Sanchez who, last season, didn't perform that well until he got to the Olympic Games. He won gold in London to show it can be done.

“I was disappointed to finish second at the European Team Championships in Gateshead, especially having won the event on the three previous occasions the event was held.

“Sometimes when I'm favourite for a race, I lack a bit of concentration and I think that's what happened. The first five hurdles went perfectly but I switched off leading into hurdle six, made another error at hurdle seven and took an extra stride into hurdle eight.

“I can't remember the last time I made that many mistakes in a race. Those errors probably cost me half a second and I don't have the speed endurance in the latter stages to make up for those kind of errors. The guy who beat me ran the race of his life and all credit to him (Germany’s Silvio Schirrmeister, who won the race in 49.15 with Greene second in 49.39).

“Besides my own personal disappointment, it was nice to see the British team perform so well at the European Team Championships. We accrued a huge number of points, particularly across the track events. There were a lot of faces I had not recognised before in the British squad and it was great to see the likes of Jessica Judd (who won the women's 800m) step up to the mark and run so well.

“The captaincy of the GB team is rotated and on his occasion it was Perri Shakes-Drayton who took up the role. Her pre-event speech to the team was typical Perri, very funny. Her speech was interrupted by music which came through from a prom next door and she burst into an impromptu dance.

“As for my rivals, I was impressed, but not too surprised, at the three men who qualified for the US team at the World Championships. The winner of the US Champs, Michael Tinsley, has been running well all season and the two other qualifiers, Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson, are proven performers.

“I'm looking forward to starting to compete against these guys as they will offer a real benchmark for where I'm at. I intend to race in Lausanne and then the British World Championships Trials, where I haven't yet decided to race the 400m flat or 400m hurdles. I'll then compete at Monaco, and then it’s on to London for the Anniversary Games before Moscow.

“Away from the track, I've watched lots of the British Lions rugby games on their tour of Australia. I've been proud of how they've played, especially as so many are Welshmen, just like me!

“I've met a few of the players before, including George North and Jamie Roberts and they are much bigger than you'd think.

“One final point I'd like to make is my girlfriend, Sian, is running really well. She set a PB of 60.28 for the 400m Hurdles earlier this month, so although things might not have gone as I would have hoped this season, Sian is proving at least one member of the household is on top form!”