HUCKNALL’s Olympian, Andy Turner, raised his street cred in the GreatCityGames last weekend — but not in the event he expected!
Turner (31) was the hot favourite to land the 110m hurdles at the innovative event, which is staged on the streets of Manchester.
But instead he won the unique 200m hurdles race, beating the 400m hurdle gold-medallist at the 2004 Olympic Games, Felix Sanchez, into second place.
Turner clocked a time of 22.54 seconds on the straight track to pip the Dominican Republic veteran. In third was Trinidad’s world junior 400m hurdles champion, Jehue Gordon.
Earlier the Hucknall star had been hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories over his Olympic trip of 110m. But the European and Commonwealth champion could finish only fourth -- behind former world champion Ryan Braithwaite, of Barbados, American David Payne and German Matthias Buhler.
Turner’s time of 14.16 seconds was much slower than the personal-best 13.28 he clocked earlier this month on an orthodox track in Jamaica. That remains the second fastest sprint-hurdle time of the year so far.
The GreatCity Games is an exciting concept to showcase the sport of athletics in a fresh format, free to a new audience.
It takes place annually on a purpose-built, four-lane track on Deansgate, which bisects the centre of Manchester, and attracts some of the world’s top athletes.
For Turner, he was pleased to come through the event without any recurrence of the Achilles-tendon injury problems that plagued him through the winter.
He has benefited from two warm-weather training stints in Florida, USA with his rival and friend, American hurdler David Oliver, who is the world number one, and he is now set fair for the London Olympics in two months’ time.