NERVY TURNER FACES OLYMPICS WAITING GAME

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NERVOUS Hucknall hurdler Andy Turner is on tenterhooks as he waits to see if his spot in the Great Britain athletics squad for the upcoming Olympics is confirmed after a below-par performance at the national trials last weekend.

Last year Turner was riding on the crest of a wave after confounding his critics by winning a bronze medal in the 110m hurdles at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The glory came just a year after he struck double with victory at the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

But the medals in the cabinet counted for nothing as he could only finish third at the Aviva 2012 trials in Birmingham last weekend behind emerging talents Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke

Now the 31-year-old, who grew up on Nottingham Road in Hucknall, must hope British selectors give him their backing when they announce the team next week.

Turner, Pozzi and Clarke all possess the A qualifying standard but only the top two at the trials are guaranteed to go on to compete at London 2012.

Turner now faces an anxious wait to see whether he is awarded the third discretionary spot.

Having finished on the podium at the World Championships, it would be a brave man to leave Turner out of the Games in the capital this summer.

“Obviously I didn’t come here to get third place,” said Turner – who has been struggling with a hamstring and an Achilles problem in 2012.

“I am clearly not in the best shape. I just feel like I need to get in more races and compete better, I feel like I have got something in me because I was good for the first half of the race but I just couldn’t keep it up.

“If I could have put in ten good hurdles, then obviously I could have won it but hopefully they can pick me off the back of that.

“I feel like I have got a lot more in the tank so hopefully they can show me a bit of faith.”

And, having struggled with injury this year, Turner admitted he had more than an inkling that things might not go his way in the second city.

“I knew it was going to be tough because these boys have been running 13.3 or 13.4 seconds consistently all season so obviously they are ranked one and two going into this and I was just trying to sneak in on the back of half a performance,” he added.

“I’m confident though, I feel in good shape and I really feel it is going to come. I am not going to go to the Europeans this week, I have got a couple more races but more than that I have just got work to do and I need to get my hamstring completely fine – that’s the plan.”

Turner managed just 13.62 seconds to win his heat and secure his place in the final in Birmingham.

In the showpiece, he improved by exactly a tenth of a second to post 13.52 behind 20-year-old Pozzi (13.41), who only turned senior this year, and Clarke (13.45) in what was the last event of the three days of action.

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