Tag Archives: merritt

Usain Bolt nominated for 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year but Mo Farah is snubbed

What about, Mo Bolt in line for another gong but two-golds Farah is snubbed for IAAF athlete of the year prize

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 5 November 2012

Usain Bolt headlined the shortlist for the 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year announced – but there was no place for double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Bolt dismissed doubts over his form and fitness at London 2012 by sweeping to gold in both the 100 metres and 200m. He then played a key role as Jamaica smashed the world record in the 4x100m.

Bolt was one of three candidates still standing after the 10-man shortlist named last month was whittled down to three.

Gong: Usain Bolt (R) congratulates his coach Glen Mills after Mills received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of the West Indies at the weekend

Gong: Usain Bolt (R) congratulates his coach Glen Mills after Mills received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of the West Indies at the weekend

Aries Merritt and David Rudisha are also in contention with both men having a fine 12 months.

American Merritt clinched gold in London in the 110m hurdles and then smashed the world record with a blistering run of 12.80 seconds in the second of two Samsung Diamond League finals in Brussels in September.

Rudisha also achieved an Olympic gold and world record double.

What about, Mo Farah has been overlooked from the IAAF shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year despite winning two gold medals in London

What about, Mo Farah has been overlooked from the IAAF shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year despite winning two gold medals in London

The Kenyan blitzed the field in the final of the 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to cruise to victory in a best-ever time of 1:40.91.

Farah was cut from the expanded list despite an emotional summer of success.

The Somali-born star first landed the 10,000m and then rode a tidal wave of support to clinch the 5000m title the following Saturday.

The winner of the 2012 award will be announced during the IAAF's Centenary Celebrations in Barcelona on November 24.

Up for grabs: Kenyan 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is also in contention

Up for grabs: Kenyan 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is also in contention

Adam Gemili clocks personal best in 200m

Diamond League Race Zone: Gemili clocks personal best in 200m

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 August 2012

Adam Gemili ran the second fastest 200 metres time for a British junior in history when he clocked a personal best of 20.53sec on Sunday.

/08/26/article-2193978-14B44147000005DC-360_468x299.jpg” width=”468″ height=”299″ alt=”Brit special: Adam Gemili (right) ran a personal best in the 200m” class=”blkBorder” />

Brit special: Adam Gemili (right) ran a personal best in the 200m

What 18-year-old Gemili made of yet another sparkling run was unclear to BBC viewers, with the broadcaster interviewing Tyson Gay, who came second in 20.23sec, after the race.

It was a stellar line-up including Olympic sprint finalists Wallace Spearmon, Churandy Martina and Ryan Bailey but spare a thought for winner Nickel Ashmeade.

The Jamaican wasn’t at London 2012 because he shares the same country as Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, the Olympic 1-2-3. Ashmeade won in 20.12sec.

Jet-heeled Jeter gets revenge

Carmelita Jegter must look back at the Olympic 100 metres final and think ‘What if’ after once again defeating the champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The American veteran came second to her Jamaican rival in London by 0.03sec but beat her in Lausanne last week and again here, recording a meet record of 10.81sec. ‘It’s easy to keep going when you love running. I love to hear that gun click,’ said the 32-year-old, rather ominously.

Fast as lightening: Carmelita Jeter (left) won the 100m in Birmingham

Fast as lightening: Carmelita Jeter (left) won the 100m in Birmingham

Merritt wins again… but isn’t satisfied

Aries Merritt, the Olympic champion, continued his scintillating season’s form to win the 110 metres hurdles in 12.95sec, a meet record. ‘Smooth and silky,’ purred Colin Jackson but Merritt disagreed. ‘I made a lot of technical mistakes,’ he said after beating world champion Jason Richardson by 0.03sec. Britain’s Lawrence Clarke, fourth at London 2012, finished sixth here in 13.52sec.

Adams feels 'robbed'

Valerie Adams won the shot put with a throw of 20.52 metres, then spoke of her anger at being denied a chance to stand on top of the podium at the Olympics. Belarusian Nadezhda Ostapchuk was stripped of gold after testing positive for steroids, promoting Beijing gold medallist Adams to first.

The New Zealander said she had given her silver medal back but not yet got gold and hopes a presentation will be made at the Diamond League meet in Zurich this week or when she returns home.

‘She robbed me of that moment (at the Olympics),’ Adams said. ‘That hurts more than anything. Instead of being upset I should’ve been celebrating. She’s got to live with the consequences for the rest of her life and be known as a cheat.’

Winning throw: New Zealand's Valerie Adams was awarded Olympic gold

Winning throw: New Zealand's Valerie Adams was awarded Olympic gold

I could’ve won a medal if I was fit, insists Meadows

Jenny Meadows was at Sunday’s Birmingham meet sporting a pair of crutches. The 800 metres European indoor champion revealed she has undergone surgery on the long-term achilles injury which effectively ruled her out of the Olympics, but said she would be back next season.

She told how she watched the 800m final, won by Russia’s Mariya Savinova, and said: ‘I definitely thought there was a chance for me on the podium, the bronze was won in 1min 57sec and I have run that time. It’s been a difficult year.’ Britain’s Marilyn Okoro came third in 2min 01.96sec.

London 2012 Olympics: Lawrence Clarke finishes fourth, Aries Merritt wins 110 metre hurdles

Heroics from Clarke but no medal as Merritt seals 110m hurdle gold for USA

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UPDATED:

20:45 GMT, 8 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Lawrence Clarke came fourth in the 110m hurdles which was won by Aries Merritt who stormed to victory in 12.92s at the Olympic Stadium.

Merritt's was he fastest time in the world this year and just 0.01s off the Olympic record set by Liu Xiang in Athens in 2004.

His USA team-mate Jason Richardson took silver in 13.04, with Jamaica's Hansle Parchment taking bronze in a new national record of 13.12s.

Defending champion and world
record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba pulled up injured midway through
the race.

More to follow…

Toff on the track: Clarke came an impressive fourth, behind winner Merritt

Toff on the track: Clarke came an impressive fourth, behind winner Merritt

Final flourish: Merritt dives for the line to seal the 110m hurdle crown

Final flourish: Merritt dives for the line to seal the 110m hurdle crown

Final flourish: Merritt dives for the line to seal the 110m hurdle crown

Down but not out: Clarke can be pleased with his performance in the final

Down but not out: Clarke can be pleased with his performance in the final

London Olympics 2012: Dwain Chambers and Adam Gemili are in wonderland after sparkling sprint performances

Chambers and Gemili are in wonderland after sparkling sprint performances

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UPDATED:

21:29 GMT, 4 August 2012

Together they represent the potential future of the sport and its tainted past.

Olympics 2012

But both the fresh innocence of the
smiling 19-year-old Adam Gemili and the more hardened face of Dwain
Chambers received generous welcomes and produced superb performances at
the Olympic Stadium.

Chambers, who received the all-clear
to resume his Olympic career only in April after the British Olympic
Association's lifetime ban on drugs cheats was overturned, made the most
of his reprieve, producing one of his greatest performances since a
two-year ban for using steroids, winning his heat while easing up in
10.02sec.

Promising: Adam Gemili impressed for Team GB

Promising: Adam Gemili impressed for Team GB

Gemili, who was still hoping for a footballing contract at Dagenham and Redbridge in League Two and was on loan at Thurrock in the Isthmian League last autumn, also trod an unlikely route to these Games.

Yesterday he chased home former world record holder Asafa Powell in his heat, the Jamaican running 10.04sec to Gemili's 10.09sec, the Briton qualifying in second.

Neither might have imagined being here in today's semi-finals, where they will be joined by compatriot James Dasaolu, who qualified alongside Usain Bolt, finishing third in 10.13sec.

Warm reception: Dwain Chambers produced one of his best performances

Warm reception: Dwain Chambers produced one of his best performances

Chambers was fourth the last time he stepped on an Olympic track to run in the 100m in Sydney 2000, a result that began to plant the seeds of doubt in his mind and led him down a route that would end up in him taking designer steroids.

He has acknowledged his guilt and is contrite, unlike Americans Justin Gatlin, competing here in the 100m, and LaShawn Merritt, who limped off after 150m of his heat, thus sparing us the indignity of an unrepentant drug cheat winning the 400m.

Chambers said: 'I wasn't worried about the reception. I was more worried about my performance, coming this far and not doing it. The welcome was, “Wow! What's that” I wanted to make sure I did my team, my family and supporters proud.'

London 2012 Olympics: Dai Greene makes peace with Americans

Greene peace! After a winter of disrespect, British hurdler settles row with Americans

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 30 May 2012

Bershawn Jackson has been nicknamed Batman since he was nine.

Something to do with his over-large ears flapping like a cloak when he ran.

Now, because Batman attacked him during a winter of disrespect, world 400metres hurdle champion Dai Greene is known among his training group as The Riddler.

Calm before the storm: Dai Greene is in Rome as his build-up continues

Calm before the storm: Dai Greene is in Rome as his build-up continues

Dai Greene

On Wednesday, when Batman met his nemesis face to face for the first time time since last year’s World Championships, peace was declared, a misunderstanding accepted and Batm

an paid tribute to The Riddler.

‘I feel no ill towards him. He’s a great competitor, the world champion, the best man in the world that day. I have great respect for what he accomplished,’ said Jackson, the 2005 world champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist.

Greene came under attack from Jackson following his perceived criticism of American 400m runner LaShawn Merritt, who will run in London 2012 after completing a drugs ban. But Greene was gracious in response. ‘I have a lot of respect for the Americans in the 400m hurdles. They have been the dominant force in the last 10 to 15 years,’ he said.

So peace has broken out in Gotham City

Greene added: ‘When I first read the story I was obviously a bit disappointed that I’d been misquoted. I don’t want to be seen as the athlete who just slags them off. They’re the most successful nation in the 400m hurdles in recent years. I’m not stupid, I know that. But I don’t come here to make friends.’

Rivals: Bershawn Jackson(left) and Greene will go head to head in London

Rivals: Bershawn Jackson(left) and Greene will go head to head in London

On Thursday night in Rome’s Olympic Stadium the world’s best hurdlers meet for the first time this year — 68 days before the race that matters in London.

Jackson, this year’s No 1 Javier Culson, 2004 Olympic champion Felix Sanchez and world bronze medallist Louis van Zyl are all in the mix, and Greene might as well be wearing a target. He will be clad for the first time in a special black and gold kit that Nike has created exclusively for the world champions they endorse.

Last year Greene came to Rome with the intention of running fast and taking scalps to ‘impose’ himself. He won in 48.24sec but barely improved all year. This year he has been programmed by veteran coach Malcolm Arnold to build more gradually towards a peak in London. Greene said: ‘If they want to run really fast now, that’s fine. This time last year here there was a guy who’d already run 47.66 (Van Zyl) and he finished behind me at the world champs.’

On top of the world: Greene was crowned world champion in Daegu

On top of the world: Greene was crowned world champion in Daegu

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Greene’s opener in Rabat last Sunday was timed at 48.96, and he lost to Sanchez. ‘Last year I didn’t improve too much during the season. I’m trying to change that this year. I’m starting off a bit slower, but that should lead, hopefully, to a greater peak at the start of August, when I need to be at my best,’ said Greene.

‘I know if I also don’t win in Rome people will say, “Why hasn’t he won, he’s the world champion”, but that doesn’t really matter. Everyone will remember what happens in London.

‘Times don’t mean too much at this stage of the season, and the winners of these sorts of races are quickly forgotten. I realised that a couple of years ago. No matter how fast I was running outside the majors, it didn’t mean anything until you actually won the medals. When you train in the winter, you don’t think, “Oh, I can’t wait to win in Rome”, or wherever. You think, “I want to win in London at the Olympics”, that’s what gets you through. Everything else is just a stepping stone on the way.’

Best of British: Greene's medal collection is only missing Olympic gold

Best of British: Greene's medal collection is only missing Olympic gold

Greene has won only three races in 13 against Jackson but has beaten Culson in seven out of 12 and Van Zyl in eight out of 13. What matters to all of them is that one of those Greene wins was in the World Championships.

Rome sees a turn-out of many of Britain’s Olympic medal contenders. World Indoor triple jump champion Yamile Aldama competes where she set a stadium record of 15.29m in 2003, when she was a stateless athlete.

Tiffany Porter, a winner in Ostrava last Friday, hurdles against Olympic champion Dawn Harper, and joint British long jump record holders Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson face Olympic and world silver medallist Godfrey Mokoena.

Dai Greene tells his tetchy US rivals: Let"s sort it out on the track!

Greene tells his tetchy American rivals: Let's sort it out on the track!

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 15 May 2012

Dai Greene is not afraid to express his opinions. We know this because he has called a cheat a cheat, whether the juiced-up culprit is British, as in Dwain Chambers, or American, as in LaShawn Merritt.

Hallelujah say those of us in the press who welcome a break from the PR bunkum that emerges from a thousand other mouths. But Greene does not throw insults around.

He says what he means, carefully, with the weight of a World Championship 400 metres hurdles gold medal to validate it, or he does not say it at all.

Showdown: Greene can't wait for the Olympics to do his talking on the track

Showdown: Dai Greene can't wait for the Olympics to do his talking on the track

This brings us to a message he is sending out to the other side of the Atlantic. The background: a couple of thin-skinned American rivals have reacted tetchily to comments he is incorrectly alleged to have uttered.

The first of them is the 2005 world 400m hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson. He complained: ‘Greene said we were too “overrated”. What does he mean by “overrated”’

He also told Greene: ‘Don’t talk bad about me in the press conference when I always had nothing but good to say about you.’

The press conference referred to is the one after Greene won the world gold in Daegu, Korea, last autumn. It is on YouTube. Greene has double-checked it and he did not use the word ‘overrated’.

Video: Dai Greene's press conference following gold in Daegu

Angelo Taylor, the two-time reigning Olympic champion, also entered the fray. He said: ‘Last year was one of those years. I was injured, Bershawn was injured, Kerron Clement (another American and Olympic silver medallist four years ago) was injured.

‘It’s different in Olympic year and we swept the hurdles in Beijing. Times are going to be so much quicker. The 48.2 or whatever he ran (48.26sec to be exact) was very slow. I’ve been to a few Olympic Games and 47-mid, 47-low, has always won. This year might take 46.’

Now we hand the floor to Greene, a Sportsmail columnist, to set the record straight.

‘The Americans are talking as if I was slagging them off,’ he says. ‘I stand for high morals in sport. So I can’t be seen to be criticising them for no reason.

Accusations: Taylor

Accusations: Jackson

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‘No, I don’t go out for a drink with them and, yes, I am fiercely competitive. I look forward to racing them and I’ll be aiming to beat them, as I always aim to do, and as I managed at the worlds last year. But I acknowledge they have been the outstanding nation in my event for years and I wouldn’t disrespect them. I’m not blase about that. I do not overlook the fact.

‘In no interview have I said anything different. I just said after Daegu that it was a change not to see the Americans on the podium; not that they were overrated. But the story that I disrespected them is out there and I wanted to pick up on it to stop it.’

Greene is, as we were saying, not someone to shrink away from strong views deeply held and factually reported. Take his denunciation of Merritt, the Olympic 400m champion, who was banned for 21 months for using dehydroepiandrosterone.

Merritt claimed he bought it as a penis enhancement, of all laughable explanations.

Standards: LaShawn Merritt was banned for 21 months for using a steroid

Standards: LaShawn Merritt was banned for 21 months for using a steroid

Greene countered that if he lined up against Merritt in the 4x400m final he would ‘call him a cheat and tell him he shouldn’t be here’.

Today he does not retract a word. ‘They can hate me for that but I am not taking it back,’ he says. ‘Those are the moral standards I believe in.

Firm stance: Greene denies disrespecting his Americans rivals

Firm stance: Greene denies disrespecting his Americans rivals

‘Maybe they thought because I was having a go at Merritt they should stick with him and have a go at me to show solidarity. Or maybe they do see me as a threat and that’s why they have said the things they have.

‘It seems as if they have taken the bait dangled in front of their mouths. It hasn’t taken much for them to get their true feelings out.

‘They have had a stab at my winning time. I take those things with a pinch of salt. Being world champion, I believe I can come away with a gold medal from the Olympics. We will see when London rolls around.

‘They were in the race in Daegu. And as one of my training group said, “If you hadn’t won in that time, it would’ve been even slower”.’

Yes, Jackson and Taylor were sixth and seventh in Daegu, running 49.24sec and 49.31sec.

‘They also mentioned injuries,’ adds Greene. ‘Well, everyone gets injuries. I get injuries. You don’t whine on about it and make excuses.’

Jackson is known as Batman and Greene has therefore, to his amusement, been called The Riddler by the opposing faction. The two are due to meet for the first time this season at the Diamond League meeting in Rome on May 31.

We’ll be watching — and listening — carefully.

London Olympics 2012: You"re a cheat! And I"ll tell you to your face, gold-medal favourite Greene promises Merritt

You're a cheat! And I'll tell you to your face, gold-medal favourite Greene promises Merritt

It is a beautiful, early spring day and Bath's Royal Terrace, bathed in golden sunlight, looks magnificent.

Dai Greene, taking time out from his
preparations for London 2012, is there to enjoy the Georgian splendour
of his adopted city.

But for the 25-year-old Welshman, the
world champion and favourite for the 400metres hurdles gold medal in
August, the view is soured by the anger boiling inside him at the
prospect of coming face to face in London's Olympic Stadium with a man
he believes should not be allowed to compete there.

Track record: Dai Greene celebrates winning the World Championships

Track record: Dai Greene celebrates winning the World Championships

That man is LaShawn Merritt. The American is the reigning Olympic 400m champion but in the winter of 2010 he tested positive for a steroid and was thrown out of athletics for two years, a penalty later reduced to 21 months.

Merritt's offence should also have meant he was barred from the next Olympic Games for which he was available. But last October he successfully overturned the International Olympic Committee's ruling and this summer he is expected to be on the starting line in London.

Greene, likely to be picked for Britain's 400m relay squad, is so incensed at the prospect of facing an American team certain to include Merritt that last week he threatened to make an all too public demonstration of his disgust.

Cheats sometimes prosper: LaShawn Merritt celebrates his 2009 World Championship gold

Cheats sometimes prosper: LaShawn Merritt celebrates his 2009 World Championship gold

'If I'm in the relay team and we reach the final then there's every chance we'll be lining up against Merritt,' said Greene. 'I'll tell you now, I'll happily go and find him at the start and tell him to his face, “You're a cheat and you shouldn't be here”.

'I'll be so motivated, so pumped up by his very presence in the race that I'd do anything I could to find myself up against him in the same leg of the relay, no matter what leg it would be.

'Let's be honest. It won't be a surprise if I'm in the relay team, it won't be a surprise if he's running for the Americans and it won't be a surprise if we're against each other in the semis or the final. So it's likely I'll get my chance to do this. And if I do, I'll take it.'

Merritt's successful plea to the Court of Arbitration of Sport gave hope to other athletes who had failed drug tests that, once they had served their bans, they would be allowed back into the Olympics.

Leading from the front: Dai Greene during the World final

Leading from the front: Dai Greene during the World final

Only the British Olympic Association retained a lifetime ban for drug offenders, such as sprinter Dwain Chambers and road cyclist David Millar.

That ban is being challenged at CAS in eight days by, ironically, the World Anti-doping Authority, who argue that the lifetime ban does not comply with their worldwide code.

Greene's view of fellow Briton Chambers is more sympathetic compared to his distaste for Merritt, who attempted to explain his positive test as a result of medication aimed at penis enlargement.

'What he did is a massive offence,' said Greene. 'The integrity of sport is paramount. Drug cheats are taking the places of honest athletes and that, in turn, affects sponsorship, income, and the ability to become the best. They are no more than thieves, stealing from athletes who work so hard for the love of their sport.

Back in business: Merritt in action after serving his drugs ban

Back in business: Merritt in action after serving his drugs ban

'The story Merritt came out with is nonsense. And WADA's stance – the authority whose purpose is to drum out drug cheats at loggerheads with the BOA for being too severe on drug cheats – is ridiculous.

'I'm only really talking about this now because we're suddenly into Olympic year and the scenario I've painted is a very feasible one.'

Ironically, Greene has grown to respect Chambers, the current world 60m indoor champion who rebuilt his career after his two-year dope ban in 2004.

But the hurdler still insists Chambers should not be at the London Games either. 'Dwain's a nice guy who I have, actually, a lot of respect for,' he argued.

'Having got to know him, seen his remorse, heard his apologies and witnessed his total honesty, I believe he's come out of it a lot worse than most. I also think his mistake was more down to being young and impressionable. I admire how he has fought his way back to the highest level despite the abuse he received, but rules are rules and they should not make exceptions.'

He added: 'Dwain shouldn't be allowed
back into the Games, just as Merritt shouldn't have been allowed back,
and when it comes to the CAS hearing next week why should Britain dilute
their high standards because the rest of the world have lowered
theirs'

Greene's willingness to take a stand against Merritt will surprise few in athletics who have seen him mature into a confident – and opinionated – competitor. His single-mindedness saw him win a contract with Swansea City at the age of 12, only for him to walk out of the club at 16.

'I didn't like the coach or his methods,' said Greene. 'I needed an arm round my shoulder but he was a kick-up-the backside merchant. I wasn't enjoying it any more so I just stopped.'

His mental strength would go on to see him deal with epilepsy. 'It was New Year's Day in 2004 and I'd had a few drinks the night before. One minute I was at home, the next I found myself in a hospital bed after what turned out to be my first seizure.

'There were others but the next bad one that comes to mind was in Magaluf the following summer on a lads' holiday. That first night I had another seizure outside the hotel. I ended up smashing my face on to the road. I lost one whole tooth, and half of a number of others, and cut and bruised my face so badly it looked like I'd been beaten up.

'At the time I lived for the weekend, like most lads that age. My football had gone and my athletics was going OK, but there was little to suggest I would end up where I am now. But I had to make lifestyle changes. It means that I don't drink that much, or if I do – and this happens to celebrate the end of a season – I have a lie-in and take it very easy the next day. An early start after an alcohol-ridden late night would provoke another seizure and I can't afford that. It will never leave me, but it's under control and has become very manageable.'

First of many: Dai Greene poses with his World medal

First of many: Dai Greene poses with his World medal

A silver in the European Under-23 Championships made him realise he could make something of his athletics.

'I went to the championships ranked 14th in Europe and returned with that medal. That's when I knew I was on to something.'

Seventh at the world senior championships in Berlin in 2009 was a positive surprise to most observers, but not to the super-demanding Greene.

'I ran quicker in the semis to get myself a good lane in the final but I was in uncharted territory and so nervous I barely slept the night before. When I reached the final bend I had nothing left. I was so disappointed.'

All this emotion was used as fuel the following summer. /03/03/article-0-0E44018E00000578-130_634x504.jpg” width=”634″ height=”504″ alt=”Unappealing: LaShawn Merritt after winning his appeal against an Olympic ban” class=”blkBorder” />

Unappealing: LaShawn Merritt after winning his appeal against an Olympic ban

This was evident last summer in Daegu where Greene shot past three athletes on the final straight to claim the world title and in a manner that suggested he expected nothing less.

'I've learned how to carry myself and the massive effect it has on your rivals,' he said. 'I knew I was in fantastic shape and expected to win. When I did, it confirmed to me that I can now handle being the best in the world.'

So can he handle being the man most expect to win Olympic gold in London He laughs.

'I'd be annoyed if I wasn't,' he said. 'It's what I'm going for. I wouldn't be running up the hills in winter feeling exhausted if I was aiming for a bronze and then listening to the American anthem on the podium. I'm the world champion. I should be favourite.

'Nothing is a given in sport, though. All I can do is make sure that I'm in the best shape and form possible, and that if I do line up at the start of the Olympic final in August, I'll know I've done everything I can to get me there. Then, I promise you, it will take some effort to beat me.'

Of that there is little doubt. And while the world's other top hurdlers will be fearing Greene, so too might an American one lap runner who, if the Welshman gets his way, will be seeing him in London.