EUROPEAN ATHLETICS: Talbot proves a point with 200m bronze
DANNY Talbot believes he’s got his timing for the line spot on - now he just has to hope that British Olympic selectors agree.
TIMELY: Danny Talbot made amends for his failure at the Olympic trials to win European 200m bronze - one day before the selectors confirm their London 2012 team (Getty Images)
Talbot left last week’s trials in Birmingham downbeat after failing to make an impression in the 200m.
But he rebounded in style to win bronze at the European Championships in Helsinki, a performance he believes should mean he is named alongside James Ellington and Christian Malcolm when officials announce their Team GB picks on Tuesday.
“I didn’t even get a medal at the trials so to come here and get one is a fantastic feeling,” said Talbot, as Holland’s Churandy Martina took gold and team-mate Patrick Van Luijk claimed silver.
“This is the first time I have run in a senior championships so I was just hoping to get in the final, maybe see if I could make the top five so I'm elated with a medal.
“At the end of the day, even to be selected for the relay team in London will be a real honour, if I'm lucky enough to go in the 200m then I will be over the moon.
“I'm more confident about the relay because I have been a part of the squad for the past 18 months, the 200m I got the a standard last year and have had some injuries this season.
“They might take that into consideration but it’s in the hands of the selectors now.”
Luke Lennon-Ford will face the biggest race of his life as he looks to persuade selectors he is worthy of an Olympic place.
Lennon-Ford was left fuming with the tight track after he was disqualified from the individual 400m event.
He now hopes success with Britain's 4x400m relay team will earn him the Team GB call-up he has long dreamed about.
The Birchfield Harrier, ranked fourth in the UK this season, joined forces with Michael Bingham, Conrad Williams and Nigel Levine as the quartet won their heat to progress the final as the second fastest behind Belgium.
“We are really happy with that, all we needed to do was qualify,” said Lennon-Ford.
“The conditions were fine but I'm still struggling with those bends. I really couldn’t push round the bends, obviously in the 4x400 you start a bit further up which helped me."
Eilidh Child has already booked her Olympic place but she's not given up hope of a double medal bid at London 2012.
Child will be named on Team GB next week in the 400m hurdles and joined forces with Kelly Massey, Nicola Sanders and Shana Cox to secure comfortable progression to the women's 4x400m final.
"It was a nice marker to see where I am with the other girls and maybe I can steal a spot on the team," said Child.
"Competition is tough, Christine Ohuruogu and Lee McConnell are both sat watching for example.
"I'm happy with how I ran and we did the job we needed."
Will Sharman is also determined to give selectors something to think about.
Sharman is a two-time World Championship 110m hurdles finalist but finished a disappointing fourth at last week's trials in Birmingham.
Rising stars Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke booked their slots to give team officials a straight choice between Sharman and Andy Turner, the world medallist and current European champion who has endured a torrid season with injuries.
Sharman knows nothing less than a medal and quick time will do if he is to be considered and qualified with ease from his heat.
“It feels good to qualify for the semi-finals, but I’ve made major finals, so I’d be expected to at least get to this stage," he said.
"I need to step it up, there’s no medals in the first round, so there’s no point running a PB right now. You do what you need to do to get through and I’ve done that.”
While it might be just a few weeks to the Olympics, the weather in Finland would be more suitable to the Winter Olympics - not ideal when athletes are chasing vital Olympic selection standards.
British discus record holder Lawrence Okoye was impressive in qualifying but struggled in the final, finishing a disappointing last as driving rain made throwing conditions virtually impossible.
“You’ve got to be able to deal with everything thrown at you,” he admitted.
“I’ll get a hose and put it in my face in training I have to, whatever it takes to prepare myself, because I can’t be losing because of rain, it’s just ridiculous.”
© Sportsbeat 2012