HUCKNALL Olympian Andy Turner has banned his children from attending London 2012 and insists he won’t even be thinking about them when the 110m hurdles begins next Tuesday in the Olympic stadium.
The 31-year-old (pictured) is part of a select band of Team GB athletes who will be making his third appearance at an Olympic Games — after also being part of the track and field squad in Athens, Greece in 2004 and in Beijing, China in 2008.
And Turner will be hoping it is a case of third time lucky in London with his previous two tilts at glory in the greatest sporting show on earth not extending beyond the quarter-final stage.
On debut at Athens 2004, Turner managed an injury-hit seventh in his heat, while at Beijing 2008 he navigated the first round only for his hopes to be dashed in the quarter-final, where he placed fifth.
London 2012 offers an altogether different experience for every British athlete, not just Turner. However the impact of family and friends being so close won’t even register in his mind.
Turner, who is the current World Championships bronze medallist and reigning European and Commonwealth champion, has ordered his three young daughters — Jasmin, Carman and Morgan — to stay at home and admits he is doing everything possible to make the Games feel foreign.
“All the championships I’ve been to in the past, you get on a plane and you’re out of your comfort zone — I quite like that,” said Turner before he arrived at the athletes’ village from a holding camp in Portugal this week.
“Whereas a home Games, I’m going to be at my house and if I wanted to sleep in my own bed on the morning of the race, I pretty much could do.
“My family have got tickets. We get two tickets per round, so my mum and dad claimed those tickets a long time ago.
“They are the only two that are going to be at the Olympic stadium though. With my family and friends, I wanted to keep out of it; I didn’t want anything to do with it.
“I’ve got to keep my focus on the track and if they got tickets, cool, but my kids are going to stay home.
“If I hear them when I go out onto the track ,that is going to blow my mind so they are staying firmly at home.”
Turner, who grew up on Nottingham Road and now lives in Surrey, missed the opening ceremony to the Games with preparations continuing in the Algarve.
Many couldn’t understand the decision for the athletics squad not to be in London at the very start of the Games.
But the head of UK Athletics, Charles says his sole task is to help athletes like Turner deliver a repeat of medals they have won at previous global championships.And Turner hasn’t been complaining, far from it.
“I’m kind of happy that we’re going to be in the Olympic Village, we’re going to be secluded and it has been good in Portugal for the holding camp,” he added.
“At the end of the day, you’ve just got to forget about everything — the friends and family at home — and just get your head on trying to take care of business.”
Turner beegins his campaign at 10.10 am next Tuesday (August 7). If he qualifies, the semi-finals (7.15 pm) and the final (9.15 pm) are the next day, Wednesday August 8.
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