Can Woodford’s Dan light up the Games?

Woodford Green decathlete Dan Awde believes he has matured so much since the last Olympics.

Woodford Green decathlete Dan Awde believes he has matured so much since the last Olympics as he prepares for the most gruelling competition of his career.

The 24-year-old experienced the Olympics four years ago in Beijing and took 21st spot.

But since then Awde feels he has grown up from the na�ve young man he was in 2008.

“In four years a lot has changed,” said, Awde, who competes for Woodford Green AC.


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“I was a na�ve 20-year-old and I had no idea of what it was like, I was just going along for the ride. It was great fun but I wasn’t in total control.

“This time around, I have that bit more experience and I have got used to competition.”

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Under coach Greg Richards, the same man who worked with former decathlete and double Olympian Dean Macey, Awde has continued to improve.

He set a personal best of 8,102 points this season to achieve the Olympic B standard and is aiming for another, plus a top-10 finish.

“A personal best would be great, it would show I’m continuing to progress,” added Awde.

“It would also be nice to get a top-10 finish and that is a goal I’ve set myself.”

But the days are counting down, with his event starting next Wednesday, and continuing on Thursday.

The24-year-old is hoping to use the nerves, and home crowd to his advantage.

“I am trying not to get nervous, you get the usual thoughts of ‘are your ready for this?’ but you have to stay as relaxed as possible,” he said.

“You need to have a strong will, the ability to go through the pain barrier with whatever injuries and adversity comes your way.

“But there will be a massive crowd ready to cheer me on and that will inspire me and give an added boost.”

Awde is joined at the Games by some of his Woodford Green clubmates, including Tiffany Porter, Shana Cox, Tosin Oke and Yucef Abdi.

Porter will compete in the 100m hurdles heats on Monday, with the semi-finals and final the following day.

Cox takes to the track on Friday for the 400m heats, while the latter stages are held over the weekend.

She also goes in the 4x400m relay with the rounds for that on Friday, August 10 and the final on Saturday.

Tosin Oke goes for Nigeria in the triple jump and the Commonwealth Champions qualifying round is next Tuesday ahead of a Thursday final.

The 3,000m steeplechase is Abdi’s event, with qualifying on Friday and final on Sunday.

Ilford AC will also be represented at the Games with Neringa Aidietyte competing for Lithuania in the womens 20km race walk, which takes place on Saturday, August 11.

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