Ohuruogu targets 'full set of medals'

Having earned Commonwealth, world and now Olympic 400m gold medals at the age of 24, Christine Ohuruogu is faced with a large question: what does she do for an encore?

The answer - she aims to defend her world title next year, and will then seek to emulate Sally Gunnell by completing her collection of titles at the 2009 European Championships. "I'm looking to go for the full set," she announced today .

By her own admission, she was struggling to come to terms with what she had achieved less than 24 hours earlier. "Maybe it will take me until I retire to realise what I have done," she mused, before breaking into one of her sudden, loud, loopy laughs.

Given the way she hunted down the flagging American favourite Sanya Richards in the final here, Ohuruogu has every chance of succeeding in an ambition which would establish her even more firmly as one of the greatest female British athletes of all time.

The next big question will be: what kind of an impact will she make at the London 2012 Olympics, which will take place five minutes away from the house where she was brought up in Stratford?

She has all the credentials to be the 2012 poster girl, in the manner of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, but the one-year ban she served for failing to be present according to schedule on three occasions when random dope-testers arrived has vexed that issue.

"My job is just to go out and run - everything else is just a bonus," she said. "Defending an Olympic title at home - that would be pressure for anyone. But I would love to be there," she said, adding with a grin: "And if I'm not there, my little sister will be."

Ohuruogu, one of eight children, believes her 15-year-old sister Vicky, who is a member of the Newham 2012 Club, has serious potential. "She'll be better than me, I reckon. That's what they say."

Before the previous night's 400m final it seemed clear that Richards was on edge, while Ohurougu was composed.

Not so, the Briton maintained yesterday. "I thought Sanya seemed very calm in the warm-up area," she said. "It has an effect when you think that someone is that confident when the rest of us are wetting ourselves. I wasn't at my best. After my semi-final I didn't sleep well for two nights, and I felt like I was getting a headache, and it was hot, and it was the final....everything was getting to me."

Being drawn in lane 4, three places inside Richards, proved important to the Briton in that it prevented her getting a clear view of the American as, long hair streaming backwards and arms pumping in what looked like long evening gloves - sadly this Cinderella never got to the ball - she did exactly what she had been told not to do by her coach and went out at killing pace, reaching the halfway point in just over 22 seconds.

"I think it would have messed up my mind completely if she'd done that from the next lane to me," Ohuruogu said. "I watched a recording and I realised I was quite far down coming out of the bend. If I'd known that while I was running I think I think I would have panicked a bit. But Sanya panicked, and that's why she tensed up. It's the worst thing you can do in a race."

The best thing Ohuruogu's coach Lloyd Cowan can do now is to tell her she has no chance of matching Gunnell's achievement. "I like a challenge," she said. "When you're told you can't do something and then you go out and do it - that's what I get kicks out of."

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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