World Athletics 2011: Greene on track for Olympics, says coach

ATHLETICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011

Venue:
Daegu, South Korea
Date:
27 August - 4 September
Coverage:
BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online (UK only), daily video highlights on BBC Sport website (UK only); live text commentaries; watch live on Channel 4
Dai Greene

Britain's world 400m hurdle champion Dai Greene has the perfect temperament to take his winning habit into the 2012 Olympics, says coach Malcolm Arnold.

Greene, 25, won a thrilling gold medal on Thursday in Daegu, in a time of 48.26 seconds.

Arnold, who also coached Colin Jackson to a world title, said: "It's about winning and he's good at winning.

"He's got a sound temperament. Lots of very, very talented athletes don't rise to this occasion."

The 71-year-old Arnold has coached a glittering array of talent to world and Olympic titles, going as far back as Uganda's John Akii-Bua, who won the Olympic 400m hurdles crown in Munich in 1972.

He has a reputation for being a hard taskmaster, and not handing out compliments lightly, but he was full of praise for Greene's achievement in South Korea.

"Good athletes know how to win and you saw [on Thursday] how he executed really well. He's a good competitor.

"A lot of athletes stay flat when they compete at this level, some of them go down, and the really good ones go up two notches and he's good at that.

"It's about having control of yourself and he's got a very solid head. The better the athlete gets, the easier they are to coach and deal with, but if they are not quite at that level they get a bit neurotic.

"But he's solid as the day is long."

Greene added the world title to his European and Commonwealth golds from 2010, and now aims to become the first Welshman to win an Olympic gold in track and field since long jumper Lynn Davies at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Greene, from Llanelli, is looking forward to celebrating his new-found fame over the rest of the season, but he knows Arnold, who also oversaw the careers of Canadian hurdler Mark McKoy and British sprinter Jason Gardener, is the right man to keep him on track for the Olympics.

"I've worked hard so anything that comes my way I'm going to grab it with both hands, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself," said Greene.

"I'm hungry for Olympic gold next year and Malcolm is the sort of guy who will keep me in check. I'm due to race in the Brussels Diamond League and I'm sure I will get invited to all the other meetings, but I have to be sensible.

"I would like to have a crack at the British record [47.82 seconds set by Kriss Akabusi in 1992] before the end of the season and Brussels is one of my favourite places to run.

"I'm looking forward to being introduced as the world champion."

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