British Championships: Matt Hudson-Smith grateful to get Rio Olympics chance

Matt Hudson-Smith is one of two Birchfield Harriers who have already booked their summer in Rio
Matt Hudson-Smith is one of two Birchfield Harriers who have already booked their summer in Rio

Midlands athlete Matt Hudson-Smith is grateful for the sacrifices made by his family to help him fulfil his dream of competing at the Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old Wolverhampton 400m runner has recovered from three stress fractures in his back to book a place in Brazil, at Rio de Janeiro in August.

"It's a crazy, crazy feeling. I've been waiting for this for eight years," Hudson-Smith told BBC WM.

"Once I began running again in October, Rio was at the back of my mind."

After an encouraging final year as a teenager, Hudson-Smith's story was put on hold when the Birchfield Harriers athlete was hampered by his back problem.

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'The sky's the limit' for Hudson-Smith

But he put all that behind him on Sunday, clocking a time of 44.88 seconds to win the British title at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, the fastest 400m recorded by any European this season.

"To be honest, I didn't expect it," he said. "I just tried to attack. I wasn't really looking for a time. I just can't believe I'm going to the Olympics.

"My mum's in bits. My family have made loads of sacrifices for me and words can't describe how grateful I am to them."

The other Midlanders going to Rio

Hudson-Smith will be joined in Rio by Birchfield Harriers team-mate Danny Talbot, who clocked the necessary qualifying time for Rio in finishing second behind Adam Gemili.

Two other Midlands athletes qualified, Andy Pozzi from Stratford, in the 110m hurdles, and Stoke's Jazmin Sawyers in the long jump.

There could be more to follow among the weekend contingent who finished in the top two at Perry Barr, but are yet to achieve the qualifying standard.

This applies to Birmingham-based triple jumper Nathan Douglas, Stoke pole vaulter Steve Lewis, Shropshire high jumper Beth Partridge and two more Birchfield athletes, pole vaulter Sally Peake and triple jumper Laura Samuel.

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