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.”

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor