May 23 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Monday, August 13, 2012
A two-time Olympian from Woodford Green has spoken of his “amazing” experience competing at London 2012.
Dan Awde, 24, competed in the decathlon after emerging onto the Olympic stage in Beijing in 2008.
He started the gruelling two-day event with a new personal best of 10.71 seconds in the 100m to win his heat.
But he had to withdraw after three painful attempts at the long jump last Wednesday (8) when a recurring injury flared up.
He said: “It went in the long jump and the doctor said that if I didn’t stop it would end my career.
“I’ve got patella tendonitis and my tendon needs a repair and a clean-out. It’s been an ongoing problem for a long time.”
Dan, who doubted he would make London 2012 at the start of the year, has high hopes for Rio 2016.
He said: “I’m definitely going for the next Olympics, you can bet your life on it.
“I’m going to have surgery on my knee and I’ve got to bounce back from that as quickly as possible and come back a hundred times stronger.”
Despite the pain of his early exit, Dan said he loved competing at the Games.
“It was really amazing,” he said. “The noise in the stadium was just unreal.
“I was trying to keep focused but I had to smile and laugh and join in.
“I was a lot more assured of myself in London than Bejing and being in front of a British crowd made it 10 times as good.”
Support flooded in from fans and well-wishers after Dan withdrew on Wednesday August 8.
He said: “It’s been really, really humbling. A lot of people sent me messages and tweets wishing me a full recovery.
“I felt like I had been a bit of a disappointment but I had thousands of messages saying I’m not.
“I’m not the first athlete this has happened to and I won’t be the last.”
Dan has trained at Woodford Green Athletics Club since he was 17.
Fellow club members Tiffany Porter, Shana Cox, Tosin Oke and Yucef Abdi also competed at the Olympics.