19 July 2010
UK junior record holder Jack Meredith (coach: Donald Moss) represented the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the official IAAF World Junior Championships Press Conference this morning (19 July) and admitted that global gold in the 110mH gold would at last satisfy the hunger which has lingered since his World Youth Championships defeat 12 months ago.
"After Bressanone last year I've been hungry," said the 17 year-old Liverpudlian who lost out by 0.05 seconds to the USA’s Dale Morgan on that occasion. "I've trained so hard this winter and again all season. This would be the icing on the cake, a dream come true."
"It would be a bit of revenge for last year because I think I got hard done by getting silver, so if I win the gold I'll feel it's all been worthwhile. I’m feeling quite confident but there are a few fast boys in the event and I’ll need to keep my wits about me. I hope it’s not as close as the World Youths last year but major finals are always close and I need to make sure I get a good start and execute my race well.”
“Obviously there is pressure being number one, but it’s nice to be number one,” he continued. “People look at me and know I’m the guy to beat, but in a way, it’s really good and I thrive on pressure, the more pressure on me, the quicker I’ll run, so I’m happy where I am.”
In a bid to continue the strong tradition of British hurdling, Meredith, the current world leader, is aiming to become the first Briton to win the title since his idol Colin Jackson in the inaugural Championships in 1986.
He has high aspirations in the event and admits he’d like to beat the World Junior Record held by China’s Liu Xiang, the former Olympic and World champion, of 13.12. It’s fitting, however, that the World Junior Championships Record is held by Jackson with 13.44, a mark Meredith has already exceeded with his lifetime best of 13.32 achieved in Oslo in June.
“In my eyes he’s one of the greatest sprint hurdlers ever,” he said of former World Record holder Jackson. “I’ve not studied him all that much, but I’ve envied everything he’s achieved in the sport.”
Winning gold in Moncton has been Meredith’s focus since the beginning of the season and he feels confident that he can do himself justice. “I think about it every day,” he says. “This is the main event for me; I want to put space between me and the rest. I want everyone to know I’m the best young hurdler in the world.”
“This is by far the biggest competition I have ever been to; if you ask someone which they would rather win, World Youth or World Juniors, they are going to say Juniors. It’s by far more important, and hopefully I’ll be going away with gold.”
As he leaves the press conference for the training track he turns to team coach James Hillier with a huge grin on his face: “I’ve just told a whole room of people I’m going to win,” he laughs. “I better make sure I do it!”
The 13th IAAF World Junior Championships take place in Moncton, Canada from 19 - 25 July and daily session reports will be available on www.uka.org.uk