London 2012 disappointment was a lesson for Bath hurdler Jack Green
By Nate Saunders
His Olympic debut may have ended in disappointment but Jack Green insists the experience taught him how far he still has to go ahead of next year’s World Championships.
The University of Bath-based 21-year-old crashed out of his 400m hurdles semi-final at London 2012, before falling just 0.13secs short of bronze in the 4x400m relay despite running a barnstorming second leg.
He also watched training partner Dai Greene fail to pick up an anticipated medal in the hurdles as 35-year-old Felix Sanchez stormed to a shock gold.
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And even though his performance in the capital led to a rise in funding from UK Athletics, Green has played down his future in the team event – insisting his main focus is on turning his hurdles promise into a major medal when the championships are staged in Moscow in August.
“I think the Olympics opened my eyes to a lot of things, to be honest,” said Green, who benefits from the Lloyds Local Heroes scheme.
“Coming away from the summer without an Olympics medal was hard to take, especially coming so close, and seeing a veteran like Felix win the hurdles event shows any aspiring champion what they need to do to win.
“A lack of experience ultimately cost me in the semi-final – all season I had been struggling with my stroke patterns, which in turn messed up my consistency.
“You don’t really realise the level of talent until you get to an event like that. In the semi-final the guys came flying out of the blocks all around me and I don’t think I was fully prepared for that.
“But the experience was phenomenal and now the big goal is the World Championships – an appearance in the final has to be a minimum expectation for me as I need to keep moving forward.”
Green will first tackle a full European Indoor season before looking to reclaim his continental under-23s crown in Tampere, Finland, in July.
He believes training alongside Greene and rising British team-mate Nathan Woodward under Malcolm Arnold’s guidance at Bath is exactly what he needs in order to enter the new year in peak condition.
“We’re a good trio because we push each other along all the time,” Green added.
“In that environment you are bound to get better because you are determined not to be the slowest of the three and next year I will certainly benefit.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes on their journey towards London 2012. As part of Lloyds TSB’s commitment to leaving a sporting legacy, the programme will continue in 2013. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes.