Turner makes fastest-ever start to athletics season

GOLDEN MOMENT -- Andy Turner after winning gold in the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in India

GOLDEN MOMENT -- Andy Turner after winning gold in the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in India

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SPEEDSTER Andy Turner made his fastest-ever start to a new athletics season as he gave world number one David Oliver a run for his money in Glasgow.

In the 60m hurdles at the Aviva International indoor meet last Saturday (January 29), Turner, who hails from Hucknall, clocked an explosive 7.66 seconds.

But US star Oliver, who was unbeaten in the 110m hurdles outdoors last year and clocked two of the six quickest times in history, headed his former training partner in a time of 7.51 seconds.

The time in Glasgow was also Oliver’s fastest-ever start to a season.

But after the race, the Olympic bronze medallist was quick to pay tribute to 30-year-old Turner, who is looking to build on an incredible 2010 that saw him take 110m hurdles gold at both the European Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

“We trained together several years ago and he used to beat me real bad when we were doing sprint work-outs,” said Oliver.

“I know he’s a good hurdler and it was good to see him win those medals last year. I was definitely checking to see how he was doing and I’m just glad he’s seeing some success because he works really, really hard. He deserves it.”

Oliver and Turner will lock horns again on the indoor circuit at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday February 19. They will also come up against Olympic champion Dayron Robles, of Cuba.

But all three are looking towards later in the season and major events, including the outdoor world championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August.

Oliver believes Turner is in for another good season, starting with winning old at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in April.

Oliver added: “He is in a similar situation to myself in that it is important he stays injury free.”