13 July 2011
Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Jack Green (coach: Malcolm Arnold), alongside Poland’s European Indoor 800m Champion Adam Kszczot and Teddy Tamgho of France, the World Indoor triple jump Champion, emphasised the importance of the European Under-23 Championships when they lined up in today’s Press Conference ahead of this year’s event in Ostrava, Czech Republic from 14-17 July.
“This is extremely important to me,” said Green, who clocked a lifetime best of 48.98 when finishing fourth in a high class field at Sunday’s Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix. “It’s going to be another step up between here and Daegu and it’s playing a big part in my preparation, as it is for Adam and Teddy. The fact that they’re here proves that.
“People remember titles, not always times and distances,” continued the World Junior Championships finalist who is currently ranked second in Europe behind his team mate Nathan Woodward (coach: Nick Dakin). “I want to win, obviously, and I want to give you guys some surprises. I’ve made some great improvements over the past year and I want to have a good week against good quality opposition and show you what I can do.
“I got beaten by Nathan in the Trials but I come back from things like that and I’ve run well and I’ve PB’d; now I want to reverse those rankings. After the way I ran in Birmingham, when I stuttered and lost my stride pattern on the bend but I still set a PB, I know that low 48 seconds is possible and that I’ve got a lot more to give.
Defending 800m champion Kszczot is also here to win, admitting that this week’s competition will play a significant role in keeping him in shape as he bids to add World outdoor gold to his European indoor title.
And while Green’s major rivals in Ostrava are his team mates Woodward and third ranked Niall Flannery (coach: Nick Dakin) - who, he says, will make him more nervous than tough international opposition - Tamgho says he will thrive from the pressure of a high class event.
“I decided after Lausanne (Diamond League) that I’d compete here,” said the World Indoor Record holder. “Having qualification and then the final will be good preparation for Korea.
“We have a lot of athletes in this competition who have jumped over 17m so when people say this is a no-pressure event for me, that’s not true, there is pressure, but I think with pressure I jump better.”
“If I can jump 18m here that’s great, but the most important thing for me is to win. For me the Under-23 Championships is more important than Diamond League because it’s a Championship, and if I win, I win a title.”
The European Under-23 Championships kick off tomorrow, Thursday 14 July, and will be shown on Eurosport in addition to being streamed live by European Athletics with English language commentary through their website at www.european-athletics.org.
Live streaming will also be available with Czech commentary through: www.sportzive.cz
Daily session reports will be published on the UKA website: www.uka.org.uk