Athletics: Benjamin back in at deep end against classy field

Most athletes who have just recovered from an injury that had sidelined them for the best - or worst - part of six months, would look for a reasonably easy race to ease themselves back into action. But Tim Benjamin does not think that way. Which is why tonight he will line up in the 400 metres in the opening IAAF Golden League meeting at Oslo's Bislett Stadium against a field that includes the Olympic champion, Jeremy Wariner, and Canada's world bronze medallist Tyler Christopher.

"I've never really believed in low-key warm-up races," said the 24-year-old Welshman. "I'd always rather just get in amongst it and know I have to run fast." Benjamin broke through to sub-45 second territory last season, beating Wariner at Crystal Palace in the process, and went on to finish fifth at the World Championships before recording a personal best of 44.56sec at the World Athletics final last September. He also finished ahead of Wariner there, although the American jogged home on that occasion.

The Olympic champion is not likely to prove such relatively soft opposition on this occasion, especially as he has run the fastest time this season, 44.12sec. But Benjamin's main aim will be to push himself to competitive limits and see how his body responds. The question of what his injury actually was drew a wry grin.

"The injury?" he said. "Well, it's an ongoing hip problem, slash foot problem, slash..." Whenever Benjamin gets glum, however, he reminds himself that he has yet to miss an entire season through injury - unlike his mentor, Roger Black.

"When you consider what some athletes went through in their careers, you sometimes wonder what you are moaning about," Benjamin said. "I have been doing everything to test the injury in training." Also racing tonight is another British athlete who has been injured for even longer - Abi Oyepitan, who will return from 18 months away to face a daunting 200 metres field.

The world's joint-fastest man, Asafa Powell, will be opening his European season over 100 metres against a field including his compatriot Michael Frater, the world silver medallist, and Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there