March 8 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Woodford Green 400m runner Dan Awde went into National Indoor Championships at Sheffield with no expectations whatsoever – but came out with a bronze medal to show for his hard work.
The two-time Olympian was suffering with flu all week in the build up, and hadn’t trained since the end of January.
However, he surprised himself and clocked a new indoor best time of 46.90 seconds in the final to take fourth in a blanket finish.
News then filtered through of winner Luke Lennon-Ford’s disqualification for a lane infringement and that promoted Awde into the medals.
“My head was all over the place and I couldn’t train because of the flu and with that in mind I was not expecting much at all but I’m absolutely delighted with the medal,” said Awde.
It’s a bit of an adjustment for 25-year-old, having spent most of his career preparing for the decathlon, where he featured for Great Britain at the Beijing and London Olympics.
He’s only being in full training since October after requiring surgery on a knee injury picked up at the Olympics in 2012, which makes the achievement all the more remarkable.
And now his sole efforts are the 400m, he admits he’s going to have to start learning hope to cope with the qualifying aspect of his event.
“I’ve had done some indoor heptathlon stuff before but that’s not quite the same thing,” he added.
“I’ll have to look at and how to best to pace myself through qualifying and how to keep myself in good condition.”
Awde’s time of 46.90 is 0.10 off the qualifying time required to stand a chance of making the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland next month.
And he will have one final attempt to reach that mark at Birmingham this weekend in the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix, and give the selectors a headache over who will join British champion Nigel Levine at the event.
“The squads are selected Monday so this is the last chance for me to make the final three,” he said. “I know I am capable of making it but now I just have to do it.
“I’ve heard Birmingham is quite a quick track so hopefully that can help and we’ll see what happens.”