Home crowd will make the difference! Turner backs British fans to roar him to gold
European and Commonwealth hurdles champion Andy Turner hopes the positive energy of the British crowd can inspire him to a place on the Olympic podium.
Turner is working his way back to full fitness from an Achilles problem which hampered his performance at the recent Aviva International in Glasgow and so will miss the upcoming World Indoor Championships.
However, the 31-year-old will soon head out for some intensive warm-weather training in the United States before fine tuning his preparations ahead of the Olympic trials.
Best foot forward: Andy Turner hopes for a lift from the home crowd in London
Turner is all too aware of the hype which will surround home competitors this summer, but it is a situation he intends to use to his advantage.
'We are going to get more pressure. On the start line each British athlete will get the biggest cheer of the day,' Turner said as he helped promote The National Lottery Olympic Park Run with a training session at Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
'It is how you harness that energy from the crowd. Some people could potentially bottle it, but I am at the point in my career where I can harness that energy and use it to my good. Hopefully that will give me the extra 10 per cent I am going to need to close in on the top guys.'
Turner was awarded a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships, having been promoted from fourth place following the disqualification of Cuban Dayron Robles, who was adjudged to have impeded China's Liu Xiang.
Pride of Britain: The hurdler can't wait for his moment to shine
The Nottingham athlete will head out to Florida for seven weeks of 'hard graft' alongside American hurdler David Oliver, Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing, as the Briton starts to narrow his focus ahead of London.
'I cannot explain the desire to be back standing on the rostrum, but winning a medal at the Olympics is going to be 20 times harder than it was at the World Championships,' Turner said. 'I know that I have got work to do to even be within a shout of that, but the desire is there more than ever.
'Being handed a medal is not the way anybody would like to win a medal. For me it is not so much standing on the rostrum and being given it, more it is the feeling of crossing the line and knowing that when you look up at the scoreboard your name is in the top three.
'That is the kind of feeling I remember from Barcelona [in the 2010 European Championships] and the Commonwealth Games and is the one I want again, that when I cross the line, I know that I have won a medal by beating everybody else, rather than by someone being disqualified.'
Turner expects another fierce contest for the top places in London.
He added: 'In hurdling it is so easy to make a mistake. Some of these guys are big, arms are everywhere, the possibility to clash like in the World Championships can happen again.
'People are predicting it is going to be sub 13-second times which are going to win the medals, but I think it will be the person who makes the least mistakes on the day as opposed to who is the fastest throughout the season.'
Getting ready for action: The stadium in Stratord is nearing completion
The National Lottery Olympic Park Run randomly picked 5,000 entrants from some 43,000 hopefuls, with runners of all ages set to come from across the country for the five-mile event on March 31 inside the Olympic Park at Stratford, finishing in the stadium itself.
Turner feels the whole nation is caught up in Games fever, adding: 'There is a really good vibe around the country now and seeing people get the opportunity to run around the Olympic Park is great.
'Everyone around the country is getting excited about it and by the time July comes, it is going to be a fantastic Games.'