LONDON 2012: King determined to learn lessons from past mistakes
BRITISH race walker Dominic King is aiming to prove he can compete with the world’s best at this summer’s Olympic Games.
King is the only athlete to post the required qualifying time to represent Team GB in London, after recording a personal best of 4:06:34 in Slovakia earlier this year.
That time put the 29-year-old well inside the Olympic ‘B’ standard after he shaved eight minutes of his previous best, as he looks to become the first British competitor in the event since Chris Maddocks at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Despite the lack of competition for the solitary spot available, the Colchester Harrier is taking nothing for granted.
“All I can do is keep my fingers crossed that the selectors call me with good news, but the recent events involving Aaron Cook show that nothing is guaranteed," he said.
“They are never going to truly admit the real reasons why they aren’t selecting one individual over another. No matter how much we try to believe that the best competitor will always be selected, it isn’t true.
“Unfortunately, politics do play a part in the team that is selected for major events but those responsible have a hard job and every sport is different.”
It has been a successful year for King, who was part of the ten-strong squad for May’s IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Saransk, Russia.
After a four-year absence from the international scene, King posted his second fastest ever time of 4:13:25 to finish in 51st place, ten spots ahead of twin brother Daniel.
King, who took up race-walking in 1994 after encouragement from club coach Jerry Everett, is aiming to better his seventh place finish in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and has mixed feelings about potentially ploughing a lone furrow in London.
“It is good to have someone so close trying to follow the same dreams but sometimes it can be hard because they are a rival as well as a friend and training partner," he added.
"While it would have been good for us to compete together again, it eases some of the pressure on me for him not to be there.
"While I am relishing this chance to perform in front of my family and friends, past experiences have taught me a lot.
"I have learnt a big lesson from the 2002 Commonwealth Games when I let the emotions overcome me and went off too fast, and ended up being disqualified. I will make sure that this doesn't happen again."
© Sportsbeat 2012