Hurdles: Q&A with Team GB's 400m hurdler Jack Green


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The Independent Online

Team GB's 400m hurdler Jack Green talks about getting into the sport and training with Dai Greene.

Your coach Malcolm Arnold’s training sessions are notoriously harsh, aren’t they?

Well, put it this way, Lawrence Clarke [the 110m hurdler] is normally sick at the end of each one. There’s such a build up of lactic acid, which his body doesn’t deal with very well and he’s normally down on all fours being sick. The rest of the training group find it fun but not Lawrence! But Malcolm’s brilliant — the world’s best hurdling coach and he’s done a great job with all his athletes. I don’t know what I’d do if he ever decided to retire. He also keeps me down to earth.

How did you start working with Malcolm?

I was about to go to America to study journalism at university in Nebraska but Malcolm rang me the week before and said, “You’re coming here.” Dai Greene [who is also trained by Arnold] emailed me as well just after he’d become European champion. He also said I was coming to Bath where they train. That was fine with me.

What’s the goal for the Olympics?

To be in that final. My form’s been good. At Crystal Palace I was only 0.1sec off Angelo Taylor, the defending Olympic champion. I’d quite fancy my chances if I don’t hit a hurdle or stutter, which has been a problem. I’m capable of medalling. If I don’t get one I know I’ll look back and be extremely disappointed but the aim is to get into that final.

What is like training with world champion Dai Greene every day?

It’s great for me although, if Dai wasn’t in my event, I like to think a lot more people would be talking about me. Dai’s my moving dartboard if you like. I’ve got him there in the flesh to test myself against, which is great. I want Dai to see me as a rival although I’m not quite there yet. Dai’s really helped me and I’m looking forward to challenging him regularly in races. I’ve still got a lot to learn and improve on, especially technically.

We notice you write on your arms at events. Why is that?

Malcolm likes to drum things into me and I like them there as I can lose focus in a race so it’ll be something like “long and strong” to remind me about my stride pattern.

What are your career goals?

I want to be the best hurdler in the world but I want to be more than that. I’m really interested in fashion and talent ID. And from next year onwards, I’m working on trying to bring athletes through in Kent, where I’m from, as there haven’t been many of them recently bar Adam Gemili. I’d like to be a sportsman that spans fashion as well, maybe someone like David Beckham or Roger Federer.