Turner's anger after bombing in Beijing

UNDER-performing Hucknall athlete Andy Turner was visibly furious after he suffered a painful exit in the Second Round of the 110m hurdles at the Beijing Olympics.

The 27-year-old had looked in good shape when qualifying in second place in his First Round heat behind world-record holder Dayron Robles, of Cuba, on Monday.

But in Tuesday's Second Round, he was well off the pace in finishing fifth in his heat, again behind winner and gold-medal favourite Robles.

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Turner's time of 13.53 seconds from lane five was agonisingly just two one-hundredths of a second away from qualifying for Wednesday's semi-finals as a fastest loser.

But, in truth, he didn't perform to his best and never looked anywhere near the form that saw him run a personal best of 13.27 seconds at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan last year.

And trackside, minutes after the Second Round in the 'bird's nest' national stadium in Beijing, Turner insisted he had flushed four years of hard work down the pan.

Turner, who was hit with hamstring injuries in the build-up to the Games, said: "It was a wasted opportunity. All season I have had problems, but I feel fine now. But I am not all there right now.

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"In my mind I can give Robles a run but my legs aren't doing what my body is saying. I don't remember the race – it was crap from start to finish.

"I am not one of these people who says 'I am happy just to be at the Olympics', because I am not. I want to be in the mix. I cannot take anything out of the race at all.

"Those people in that race aren't better than me. Robles is, but the rest of them are not. They are not going to beat me again."

The result is a bitter pill to swallow for the father-of-two, who suffered at the hands of injury (Achilles tendon and quadricep-muscle) at the Olympics in Athens, Greece in 2004 and suffered a First-Round exit there.

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Hopes were high that British number one Turner could make at least the semi-finals in Beijing, especially considering he is the reigning bronze medallist from the Commonwealth Games and European Championships of 2006.

But his indoor season was curtailed by a torn disc in his back picked up while warm-weather training in South Africa in January and he never really recovered.

The back problem was said to be the root cause of separate tears Turner suffered in his hamstring-muscles in recent weeks that caused him to miss crucial training.

But he didn't look for excuses, adding: "Hopefully I can come back next year and show people what I am about. I just need some solid training.

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"I just want to finish the season and kick back into some training. I don't like giving under-par performances because I feel I have let myself down, my coach down and everyone else. I hate doing that.

"I don't want to be out there unless I can give a satisfactory performance and I am not doing that right now.

"I feel like I can beat my personal best. I have trained for four years. I missed out in Athens because I was injured. I have come here and had problems and let myself down."

The devastation was a far cry from Monday morning when Turner safely made it through from the First Round in front of 90,000 in the 'bird's nest' on a morning of high drama.

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He went out in the second heat from lane five and came home in 13.56 seconds without having to extend himself too much.

The drama came later as home favourite and Chinese hero Liu Xiang, the defending sprint-hurdles champion, was forced to withdraw from the final heat because of a long-standing injury.

That left Robles as the overwhelming favourite and his position was strengthened when Terrence Tremmell, of the USA, who was the silver medallist in the Sydney Games in 2000 and Athens, pulled up with an injury.

Turner, who grew up on Nottingham Road, must now watch the rest of the Olympics as a spectator but would no doubt have been delighted to see training partner Christine Ohuruogu pick up a gold medal in the 400m to add to her world title.

He must also try and pick himself up for.

Lloyds TSB, proud first partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to 2012. Visit www.LloydsTSB.com/London2012.

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