Athletics: Dai Greene pledges to restore normal service

World champion claims he has rediscovered his rhythm as Chambers chases place in Moscow

The 400 metres hurdles is so much about rhythm and consistency that a stuttering Dai Greene’s build-up to a World Championship title defence in Moscow has looked on decidedly rocky ground.

A double hernia operation over the winter was the first major setback and, having grafted to get back to full form and fitness, he has looked completely bereft of any sort of speed in his last two races.

At the European Team Championships in Gateshead, he was beaten by Silvio Schirrmeister, most likely the biggest scalp in the career of the German, who finished only fourth in his heat at last summer’s Olympic Games. Worse was to follow when Greene was well adrift in fifth place at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham. Those anomalies have been explained away by a virus, which blood tests showed the Welshman was carrying, and he promises that normal order will be restored when he lines up for the final of his event at the Sainsbury’s British Championships back in Birmingham tomorrow.

“I want to show that what happened in Birmingham was not the usual me,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be back to business as usual.”

The rhythm and consistency that were such a strong part of his 2011 season, which was capped by his brilliant gold at the World Championships in Daegu, have been missing. The 27-year-old has yet to win a race in 2013.

“Up to this point, the season has been relatively low key and, hopefully, I can be relatively competitive in the next two races,” he said. “It’s a different environment to two years ago when I competed for the whole season.”

Going under the radar and being unheralded is not unheard of over the longer hurdles. Felix Sanchez produced very little of note last season before recapturing the best form of his career to win Olympic gold. As a result, Greene believes a successful world title defence remains a very realistic goal.

“I am not really worried,” he said. “I’ve trained really well. I’m confident it will come in the next few weeks in the build-up to Moscow. I am expecting myself to be in good shape.”

This evening Greene won his heat in Birmingham with ease, stepping off the gas after the final hurdle to come home in 50.51sec.  Rhys Williams, the European champion, was the fastest qualifier in 50.37.

The highlight of last night’s action was 35-year-old Dwain Chambers  running a season’s best of 10.06 in winning his 100m heat with ease. The time, set in beautiful conditions, was inside the ‘A’ qualifying standard for Moscow and victory in the final tonight would guarantee Chambers a place on the plane.

“I don’t know where that came from,” said Chambers. “It eases the pressure a little bit. I seemed to be having issues earlier in the season with getting this qualifying time, but thank God I’ve got it and hopefully I can  perform better tomorrow.”

Now only James Dasaolu, who has run 10.03, has gone quicker and even a second-placed finish behind him in the final should be enough to earn Chambers a spot at the World Championship.

“I’ve still got a little bit of fire in the old belly and will try and defend [my national title] as best as I can,” he said. “This is my second home, man. I’ve always had great success here.”

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine