LONDON 2012: Gunn settling for chief supporter at Olympics
HIS OWN Olympic dreams ended in tears last month but Luke Gunn insists he will still take no little pleasure from his role as chief cheerleader at the Games for his fiancée Hannah England.
CHEERS NOT TEARS: Luke Gunn will overlook his own personal heartbreak to cheer on fiancée Hannah England at the Olympics
The Derby steeplechaser went to Helsinki for last month’s European Championships knowing that if he could run the B standard time of 8:32.00minutes he would seal a spot at London 2012.
But a fall during the race ended his race prematurely and has left him with a knee problem and damage to his femur that could mean the end of his season.
But with England, a world silver medallist from last year, selected for the Games in the 1500m Gunn’s invovlment with the Olympics is far from over.
Indeed while Gunn’s injury luck ran out at the worst possible time, life has not been that much better for England this season.
The 25-year-old suffered a spiked Achilles while winning a race in the Netherlands back in May. That put her in hospital for five days and saw her banned from standing for more than three minutes at a time for two weeks.
Indeed her first race back was last Friday at the Aviva London Grand Prix where she trailed home in last place.
And with no time at all until the Olympics get underway Gunn insists there is much more to come from England and he will be there cheering her on when she finds her best form in the Olympic stadium.
“Hannah is much better than what she showed at Crystal Palace,” he said.
“That was her first race back and was a case of getting through it, rather than being straight back to her old self.
“But I’ve been training with her, I’ve seen the sort of form that she is really in and I know how much more there is to come from her.
“She’s got a fantastic coach in Bud Baldaro so my role is to be her no.1 supporter and I'm looking forward to it.
“Of course it still hurts a bit that I won’t be racing there but I’ve got tickets to some of the events and I will be there cheering on Hannah for her races as well.
“Having the Olympics here is a fantastic moment for the whole country and I want to get involved as a I possibly can.”
Despite being the four-time defending British champion in the 3,000m steeplechase Gunn was overlooked for the Olympic squad in favour of Stuart Stokes who has twice run the B standard time this season.
And Gunn insists he bears no grudge and has already set his sights on a returning in time for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at the end of August.
“I never was going to appeal the decision to select Stuart,” added the 27-year-old.
“And in one sense I can take consolation from the fact that this injury would have ruled me out of the Games anyway.
“But I am working hard to get back in shape and I would love to race in Birmingham, I'm still on the entry list at the moment.
“Preparations for next season start now really and I’m fortunate to still be young enough to think about Rio in 2016 so I can’t afford to dwell for too long.”
Back the team and watch the world’s best athletes in action at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on 26 August. For tickets, visit www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series or call 08000 55 60 56