Strachan aims to make his mark in the World Athletics Championships

This news broke on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 | For more breaking news visit our news page

TRAFFORD sprinter Richard Strachan achieved his first ambition for the year when he made the British team for the World Athletics Championships – now he’s determined to have a greater role than a watching brief.

Strachan, coached by former Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie, is ranked sixth in the UK over 400m this season but is one of eight names selected for the 4x400m relay team in Daegu.

Olympic finalist Martyn Rooney is considered a lock for one of the four available places while one lap hurdler Dai Greene should also feature.

That leaves the others fighting it out for two available places and Strachan, who ran a personal best of 45.70 seconds in Slovakia earlier this season, admits it will be tough to earn selection.

“I’m really pleased to be out here,” said Strachan – speaking from a training camp in Ulsan, funded by Aviva who have been supporting British athletes since 1999.

“I was really disappointed at first to miss out on an individual spot. It was unfortunate because I ran three B standards but because nobody ran the A standard then that meant I couldn’t get an individual spot.

“I didn’t have a great run at the trials but I’m really happy to be here in the relay team and I cannot wait to get out there next week and run.

“The individual is absolutely out of my head and long gone now until next year and when I get back into winter training.

“But hopefully the performances I have done throughout the season should put me into that top four and if it’s a run off in the heats for a place in the final then hopefully I’ll be able to deliver a good enough performance then.”

It is 20 years since Great Britain famously won the 4x400m world title in Tokyo with a quartet that included Olympic medallists Roger Black and Kriss Akabusi.

Those were golden days for one lap running in the UK but only one athlete, Rooney, will feature in the individual 400m in Korea next week.

But Strachan – a relay silver medallist at the European Indoor Championship in Paris earlier in the year – remains optimistic about the team’s medal chances, following their silver, albeit with a much stronger quartet, two years ago.

“I’d really like to get a medal in the 4x400m,” he added. “It’s not the best team we’ve ever had but it’s a team with a lot of depth.

“However, at the front end it’s not the strongest, so a couple of us will have to step up and raise our game to be involved with the medals.

“My focus is fully on that right now. Getting on the podium at the European indoors helped me because I was out with a hamstring tear last year and I barely ran at all apart from at local league level.

“This is a completely different ball game from that but it was a great feeling to win a medal in the relay.”

Richard Strachan has been selected for the Aviva GB&NI Team and is at an Aviva funded preparation camp in Ulsan, Korea.


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