No fluffing lines for Flannery as he prepares to make strides in 2012
BY his own admission Niall Flannery has fluffed his lines when it really matters - but the GB hurdler insists 2012 will be a different story as he looks to announce his senior intentions.
THIRD TIME LUCKY: GB hurdler Niall Flannery has big plans for 2012, targeting a breakthrough performance on the international stage at this summer's European Championships in Helsinki
The 20-year-old has long been on the radar having represented Britain at the European Junior Championships in 2009 and competed at the under-23 equivalent last year.
But, after breezing into the 400m hurdles final at both, Flannery has seen his hopes dashed by disappointment, finishing fourth three years ago and eighth last July.
Despite still being an under-23, the goal this year for Flannery is to make a mark on the senior ranks by earning selection for the European Championships in Helsinki in June.
And the GB hurdler isn't just confident of making it to Finland, but adamant that he won't let lightning strike for a third time when he does.
"My indoor season went well and I was running faster than I was at the same time last year so I can't complain," said Flannery, who will benefit from the Spar Sprints Stars scheme this year.
"I also can't complain at how last year went as I made my goal of getting to the European under-23s which was great and that helps my goal of making it to the senior champs this year.
"Unfortunately, after breezing through my semi-final, the final was one of those races where I ran OK and not brilliantly, which is obviously not good enough.
"And the same thing happened in my other major European final so I need to learn from these experiences and move on from them to make sure they don't happen again.
"In the heats and semi-finals I am relaxed and calm mentally so I need to take that same attitude into the final and if I make it to the senior Europeans that is exactly what I'll be looking to do."
Flannery's hopes of making it to Finland could be given a boost as some of his rivals focus on the summer's main event - the London 2012 Olympics.
But, while insisting that his own chances of competing in London this summer are far from over, Flannery is more than happy to bide his time.
"While the European Championships are my main goal this year I am not about to say I can't make it to London 2012 as anything can happen," he added.
"But I know I am still young and I have four or five years on some of these guys so I am confident my time will come.
"There is nothing to say that I can't be running a lot quicker come the time I am the same age as these guys are now so I am in no rush."
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