29th June 2009

Official Line


29 June 2009

Article by Dai Green as featured in Athletics Weekly magazine

Ahead of my winter training I just wanted to stay fit for 2009. I’ve had a few years where injury and niggles have affected my season, so I just wanted a clear run and be able to get 8 or 10 races in to try and get under the World Championships A standard of 49.25 seconds.

Things were going really well, but in February I had to have a change of coach. Benke Blomqvist had to return home to Sweden for family reasons. I was a bit upset by that because I was quite fond of the old boy.

Things were also going really well in training. But it meant I had to change things and I switched from training in Cardiff to joining Malcolm Arnold’s group in Bath. I knew it would be tough because I would have a new training programme to get used to. But it all seemed to work out fine. My first race was in Pavia in Italy in May and I won it in 49.8. But I won it very comfortably and knew there was more to come.

A week later I won at the Loughborough International, it was a bit slower – 50.2 – but weather conditions were really bad. My next race was in Prague and I made a big breakthrough, winning in 48.62. A few days later I raced in Bydgoszcz, Poland and I knew I had to prove that my time in Prague was no fluke. I did that by running only one-tenth of a second slower

I knew then that I was getting a bit more attention and expectation was growing. For the European Team Championships in Leiria, I was leading the rankings going in and I was be favourite to win.

It wasn’t my first senior GB & NI vest, my first was at the European Championships in 2006. But I was I picked as a development athlete with a B standard. Now I feel I’ve really earned the senior vest. But it also meant I had to deliver. You are not just racing for yourself, you are racing for the country too.

The pressure is that bit greater. The media are watching what you do. People like Jonathan Edwards and Colin Jackson are talking about you on the BBC and analysing your race. But for me it’s not as important what other people say, I am always my own most critical judge.

Actually winning in Portugal gave me a mixture of emotions, partly relief but mostly enjoyment. Winning is a great habit to get into and the bigger the race, the sweeter the taste.