HUCKNALL’S triple Olympian, 110m hurdler Andy Turner has had a topsy-turvy time of late — including going under the surgeon’s knife.
Turner has had an operation on his ankles in a bid to cure a troublesome Achilles problem that has blighted him for some time, including during the London 2012 Olympic year.
He has been ruled out for much of the indoor season — although he widely declares that is not his favourite part of the competitive year.
But he is now eyeing a successful 2013 and a return to his hurdling best after heading home to continue his post-surgery recovery — frsh in the knowledge that he has retained his status as one of the country’s elite athletes and the crucial Lottery funding that helps cover his medical bills.
For UK Athletics announced this week who of their stars will remain on the ‘podium’ structure (the top tier of funding), who will lose that privilege and who will be promoted.
Turner, who gre up in Hucknall but now lives in Surrey, is among the crop who track and field bosses is capable of winning medals at major championships — just as he has at the Europeans, Commonwealths and World in the last three years.
Among those taken out of the podium tier is marathon world-record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
The news comes as a major relief for Turner who, a couple of years ago, was forced to question his future in the sport after losing his Lottery cash.
Ironically, that decision spurred him on and he ‘ran angry’ to the most successful period of his career, which started when he was a student at Nottingham High School.
Turner, who endured an injury-hit season and disappointingly failed to make the finals in the hurldes at the recent Olympics, is on crutches after the operation to remove a plantaris tendon and have both his Achilles tendons scraped.
However, he is now targeting challenging his personal best of 13.22 seconds with the help of coach Lloyd Cowan and putting up a good showing at the World Championships, which are in Moscow, Russia, next August.
“I’m just trying to get pain free so I can train fully and have a good outdoor season and make amends for a poor 2012,” said Turner on his own website.
“At present I haven’t set myself exact targets but to make the world final and to break my PB, are two things I’m confident I can do if I’m pain free.”
n OUR PHOTO shows Hucknall’s star athlete, Andy Turner, in full flow.