Dai Greene using Olympic champ as inspiration ahead of world title defence
DAI Greene says he is taking inspiration from Olympic champion Felix Sanchez as he aims to overcome his sluggish start to the season.
The Swansea Harrier, who underwent a double hernia operation in March, has been way below his best in recent races, raising question marks over whether he can successfully defend his world 400m hurdles title in Moscow later this year.
Greene admits there is little margin for error between now and the championships in the Russian capital in August.
But he is also taking encouragement from how Sanchez scaled the heights in London last year, when he shocked the athletics world by defying form and all pre-Games predictions to claim a stunning gold medal.
"It is never a nice feeling to be beaten by guys who are in top shape, but it is all about performing at the big championships and I have proved in the past I can do that," said Greene, in his diary for the IAAF website.
"I take heart when I look at Felix Sanchez who, last season, didn't perform that well until he got to the Olympic Games.
"He won gold in London to show it can be done.
"I have six weeks until Moscow to get ready, and I still have enough time to reach 100 per cent.
"The hernia had set me back for a time from running at full speed, but I've been doing full sessions for about two-and-a-half weeks now.
"What would really put the cat among the pigeons is if I encountered another problem between now and the World Championships.
"There is really no margin for error, but I'm still confident I can improve my times and get in good shape for Moscow.
"I'd rate myself at about 7.5 out of 10 at the moment."
Greene finished fifth in his last outing — the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.
That came a week after a surprise defeat in Great Britain colours at the European Team Championships in Gateshead — his first in that competition.
The 27-year-old was due to race in Lausanne in the latest leg of the Diamond League this evening, but has withdrawn.