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UK Athletics

levine intervention at world indoor championships

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Nigel Levine

Having recently equalled his indoor personal best at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, Nigel Levine will arrive at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, this weekend with high hopes.  

The 24 year, old who finished third in his 400m semi-final at the same championships in Istanbul two years ago, will line up in both the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay, where the British quartet will attempt to surpass the silver medal they achieved in 2012.

Despite his excellent recent form, the Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow athlete refuses to get ahead of himself when speaking of his medal prospects.

He said: “I’m in shape but I ran the same time two years ago indoors and wasn’t in the final at Worlds; so it’s not necessarily about who’s in shape, it’s about doing it when it matters.”

Levine is no stranger to indoor success having picked up gold in the 4x400m relay and silver in the 400m at the European Indoor Championships last March. Having finished fourth in the 4x400m relay at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last summer, Levine is keen to return to the podium with his teammates in Sopot.

“Yes, I believe the team is strong enough,” he insisted. “Obviously because of our run at the Glasgow International I’ve got a lot of confidence that we can keep it going and beat the Americans.

“This year we’ve got to believe we can do it. The team is strong and confident, so hopefully we can get the gold medal this time.”

The individual event will prove a completely different challenge for the recently crowned British Indoor Champion, but he believes he is well prepared for the challenge of facing the world’s best.

He continued: “It’s all tactics and I just listen to what my coach Linford Christie says when I go into the race. It’s not all about leading from the front at the bell; there might be someone quicker than you and it can change your whole race so you also have to learn to run from behind – all of that comes from experience.”

Levine’s run of 45.71 puts him eighth in the world rankings this year and with the experience of competing at a number of major championships already under his belt, he is confident of performing well in the Polish city.

“I think having experience in championships will work to my advantage, combined with my fitness at the minute. You can’t predict what’s going to happen though and I’ll have to adapt. Hopefully I’ve got enough experience in me to know not to panic when things don’t go to plan. I don’t really care who the opposition are, it’s who performs on the day.”

Looking further ahead and into the outdoor season, Levine is looking forward to the prospect of a home Commonwealth Games.

“Hopefully I’ll perform very well indoors which will give me the confidence to compete well outdoors. I’ll be doing both the Commonwealths and the Europeans – I don’t see why not.

“I didn’t make the last Commonwealth team so it’ll be my first. It’s great to have it at home – it’s not far to travel and it means my family and friends get to watch me.”

With two years to go until the next Olympic Games in 2016, Levine has already set his sights on performing well in Rio but maintains that a lot can change in a fairly short space of time.

He added: “Rio is an Olympics and everyone is going to be ready then. Even if we continue to run together as a relay team, things can change. Rio is in 2016 – some people might get injured, some may come through, you just can’t measure it from now. Things change over time and we’ll just have to see who is fit and who isn’t.”

The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be shown live on BBC2 from Friday 7 March through to Sunday 9 March.