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.”

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
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

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

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