Turner ready to roll Olympics dice again

Andy Turner
Andy Turner

STAR Hucknall athlete Andy Turner (pictured) admits his roll of the Olympic dice has backfired in 2012 — but he remains confident he can defy the form book and propel himself into medal contention at the fast-approaching London Games.

Turner (31) entered 2012 seemingly with the world at his feet, having claimed World Championship 110m hurdles bronze in Daegu, South Korea last year against all the odds.

However, after making some training changes over the winter, Turner feels he has gone backwards this year.

Indeed, at last month’s national championships and Olympic trials in Birmingham, his star had waned so much that he could only claim bronze.

That meant the reigning European and Commonwealth Games champion needed special dispensation to even be selected for the Games — not that he’s fretting too much.

When Turner landed bronze in Daegu last year, that too was against the formbook.

“Form wise, I haven’t been running as well as I have been in previous years,” said Turner, who grew up in Hucknall on Nottingham Road but now lives in Surrey.

“We changed a lot of things around in training which, potentially, could have made a big jump. It was a risk and unfortunately, it hasn’t gone in my favour.

“We’ve still got some time left. Where I feel I am, I’m actually quite happy with, but until you put that down in a race, in that respect, I’m not happy.

“If anything, I’ve gone into major championships running similar times that I have this season, but then I’ve run two-tenths faster when I get there. So I’m confident of that when I get there.”

When Turner steps ontop the tracks in the capital in the coming weeks, it will be his third appearance at an Olympics having competed in Athens, Greece in 2004 and Beijing, China in 2008.

Every time in the run-up he has suffered with injury problems and this time around is no exception.

Achilles troubles over the winter, tendonitis in the early-season and recent finger surgery have all made for a tough time for the runner, who was christened ‘Trackburner’ by the Dispatch in his younger days. been far from ideal.

But once again Turner is quick to insist it’ll be all right on the night.

“Injury-wise, I had Achilles problems earlier on in the season, but I managed to run them off,” he added. “Then I had tendonitis in my lead-leg hamstring, which meant I couldn’t really push into the hurdle, which is not ideal.

“At the Olympic trials, I managed to fall over on the finishing line and someone trod on my finger with their spike, which ripped the nail off and I ended up having surgery on my finger, so that’s not ideal.

“There’s stupid little things that have gone wrong, but I could be in a lot worse position physically than I am so what I’ve got to deal with, I’m fine.”

And after a tough season to date Turner — who was beaten to domestic gold and silver by Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke — admits he can’t wait to get started on the Games proper.

“The stadium will provide some release for me,” he said. “I won’t have any doubts in my mind when I get on the start line.

“I’ve been in this situation so many times and my experience shows that I can go to the champs and produce what I need to produce. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and I’m confident in my own ability, so I’ll be fine.”

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