Athletics: Thomas threatens to retire

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The Independent Online

Iwan Thomas, the British 400 metres record holder, has vowed to quit if he does not reproduce the form which won him the Commonwealth Games and European Championship gold medals five years ago.

Thomas's career has nose-dived since 1998 when he also won the IAAF World Cup final, but he is convinced Olympic year will see a change in his fortunes. "If I don't run at least 44.8sec next year, I'm going to retire and that's serious," said Thomas, whose British record stands at 44.36sec.

Thomas missed the World Championships this year because of an Achilles injury and successive campaigns have seen the Welshman struggle to reproduce the form which saw him regularly run well-under 45 seconds - the accepted marker for winning global championship medals.

Thomas is preparing for a spring training camp in California where he hopes to better the Olympic qualifying time of 45.55sec at a US meeting.

"Hopefully I'll crack it in Los Angeles and I can just sit back at home, relax and get ready for the AAAs," he said. "For now it's about getting back to running and knowing what I and a lot of people believe I can achieve when I'm healthy."