Team GB's athletics captain Dai Greene has said that the pressure is now on after Britain's Olympics success at the weekend.
The 400 metres hurdles runner was chosen for the captaincy over Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, having proved himself to be one of Team GB’s top performers in the past two years.
Greene, 26, scraped into tonight’s final by just 0.04 seconds as the fastest loser after being beaten into fourth place in his semi-final.
He said: “I should be better than that. I’m the second fastest qualifier but that’s no way to perform if you are the world champion. I feel like I’ve let everybody down. I shouldn’t be making the final that way.”
However, in a stroke of good fortune, he has been drawn in lane three for tonight, with his chief rivals in his sights in four and five. He takes on Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, 28, and American Kerron Clement, 26.
Greene, known for a dry sense of humour, said his quest for gold is all part of a ruse to avoid a “proper job”. He was a latecomer to athletics — which is why he says he has a “hard-work ethic” — after turning down the opportunity to follow his father into the building trade.
“I’d do anything not to get a proper job,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind doing what Colin Jackson [world champion hurdler turned BBC pundit] does.”
He credited his success to the support of father Steve, a bricklayer, mother Susan, a care assistant, and his partner, teacher Sian Davies. She said watching him win the world championship last year in Daegu, South Korea, was one of the most stressful experiences of her life.
He was also crowned Commonwealth and European champion in 2010 and wants Olympic gold to complete the set after missing Beijing with a foot injury.
The 6ft 1in runner, who lives in Bath, has epilepsy and maintains a strict diet and training regime to control it. He has written a 10,000-word dissertation on the science behind hurdles.
“The Olympics is the biggest thing you can do,” he said. “To do it when you’re in your prime and in front of a home crowd is that much better. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
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