London 2012: Dan Awde won’t begrudge any decathlete success as his Olympic campaign begins

The 24-year-old Woodford Green-based athlete is ready and raring to go in the decathlon, which starts tomorrow.

Dan Awde will not begrudge any of his rival decathletes success at the Olympic Games – a feeling he believes is unique to his disclipline.

American Ashton Eaton broke the event’s 11-year world record in the trials for these Games and the Team GB athlete has respect, not fear, for the world number one.

Awde, who lives in Woodford Green and represents his local club, feels decathletes are a rare breed of competitor and success for one is success for all.

“Any decathlete will tell you it is the best event to be involved with, just because of the camaraderie,” said the 24-year-old, who is preparing to compete in his second Olympics.

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“You all go through the same experience. You may be an individual, but we all want everyone to do well. We are a rare breed of athlete.

“Ashton Eaton smashed the decathlon record a month or so ago and I was delighted for him.

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“Some people have asked ‘well aren’t you a bit jealous?’ and the answer to that is no. What he has done is wicked. All decathletes have respect for each other.”

Awde returned to London on Sunday ahead of the decathlon from his training camp in Portugal, which starts tomorrow and continues on Thursday.

But the whole squad atmosphere in sunnier climes is something Awde cherishes, rather than being caught up in the hustle and bustle of London and Olympic fever.

“I have made a lot of friends along the way and quite a few are in the squad so it is nice to spend time away with them at the camp,” he said.

“Going to Portugal is a nice thing just before the Olympics. It is good to get away from all the hype and the worries of driving around London!”

And since having his place in the Team GB squad confirmed at the beginning of July, the messages of good luck have come in their numbers, something which has taken aback the Woodford Green AC athlete.

“The support has been overwhelming and outstanding, especially on Twitter. It is all very humbling,” he said.

“It seems like every other minute there is a good luck text or tweet.

“It adds fuel to the fire, you know everyone is going to be watching you and that ramps up the pressure. But I have to remember I have been training for this for the last four years.

“I had a plan set aside if I was selected and since then I have been working with that.

“All the hard work will be worth it once I step on that track for Team GB.”

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