BENJAMIN AIMS TO BE BACK TO HIS BEST IN OSAKA
9 Aug 2007
Tim Benjamin is aiming to make a return to form just in time for the IAAF World Championships in Osaka (25 August - 2 September). The 400m specialist has been handed an individual spot in Japan after securing a season’s best of 45.28 inside the "A" standard qualifying time at Crystal Palace on Friday night.
The 25-year-old sprinter said, "I'm very happy to be selected and want to try to get back to my best there."
Benjamin – who had already been assured of a place in the 4 x 400m relay squad last week - withdrew from the DN Galan Meet in Stockholm last night in which Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner won the 400m in the year’s fastest time.
His agent, Ricky Sims, explained: "After securing qualification on Friday night he thought that getting back into training would be better for his Osaka preparations."
Meanwhile, European Under 23 Champion David Greene is also Osaka-bound having been added to the Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland team. The Llanelli 21-year-old, who has been suffering with a tendon injury, is a travelling reserve for the 400m hurdles and is also in the 4 x 400m:
"I’m disappointed not to get an individual spot but it’s great to be taken as a reserve and to get a place in the relay squad. The injury’s coming along. Although I’ve had a few setbacks, I don’t think that I’ve lost much fitness all in all and I expect to be in good condition in Osaka," said Greene.
Christian Malcolm is also on relay duty. Earlier today, he was unveiled on the list for 4 x 100m. Speaking from a relay training camp in Loughborough, he explained, "I’m not over my injury completely but it’s enough to run and to maintain my season. I’m happy with my selection for the relay. It’s my first major championships where I’m not running as an individual, which will feel a bit different, but I’m looking forward to going out and doing my best to support the relay team."
The selection of Malcolm and Greene is subject to form and fitness and they will both be monitored closely at the UK Athletics holding camp in Macau, China on 10-22 August through to Osaka.
Marathon runner Tracey Morris from Holyhead is also heading to Japan. The 39-year-old was named in the first wave of selections last week:
"It’s an absolute dream for me – three years ago, I didn’t even have a GB vest. Since then I’ve been to the Europeans, the Commonwealths, the Olympics and now the Worlds. Now I’m able to complete all the four major competitions which is not bad going between the ages of 36 and 40. I’m no spring chicken so I’m just thoroughly pleased to have been given this second chance."