Kriss Akabusi backs Dai Greene to break British record

Dai Greene
Greene is determined to become number one in the 400m hurdles

Kriss Akabusi says he expects Dai Greene to break his 21-year-old British 400m hurdles record.

Greene came within a whisker of Akabusi's mark of 47.82 seconds, set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, by running 47.88sec in Split, Croatia, in 2010.

"I don't think it's a matter of if, it's when [Greene breaks the British record]," said Olympic silver and bronze medal winner Akabusi.

"And I'll be very happy for Dai... to assume the mantle."

Greene beat former world champion Bershawn Jackson at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on 10 July, holding off the American to win in 48.20sec.

In the process the 25-year-old Welshman beat the stadium record set by Ed Moses, one of the greatest one-lap hurdlers of all time.

Greene is already the European and Commonwealth champion and is a genuine contender for gold at this year's World Championships, which begin on 27 August in Daegu, South Korea.

"Dai Greene is a world-class hurdler now. He's running a lot of times between 48.2 and 48.4 and, on my reckoning, that seems to suggest that he's ready to run a time of anywhere between 47.7 and 47.9," Akabusi added.

"That quite clearly puts him within record-breaking distance.

"When I was competing, I always used to think that come the major championships I could always run half-a-second faster than my season's average.

"When I left athletics... I felt pretty sure it wouldn't take long before my record was eclipsed but I've been the British record holder now for 21 years, although Dai is the only other British athlete to go under 48 seconds and 'break' the record I broke in 1990.

"As I've got older I've realised that I did set a very good mark."

However, Akabusi has warned Greene away from fixating on records and says that he will overtake the mark just by winning big races.

"If I was able to speak to Dai I would suggest he really needs to take his eyes off the record now, it's a bit of a distraction to be talking about a record every time he's going to race," Akabusi said.

"Dai's got all that is required to break the record, all he needs to do is keep on winning races and it will come when he least expects it.

"Just go out there, run your race... and the athletics gods will give it to you at the appropriate time - not when you think you're going to take it."