Christine Ohuruogu targets fitness for 400m World trial

By Tom FordyceChief Sports Writer
Ohuruogu confident of return for GB trials

Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu insists she will be fit for this month's World Championship Trials despite her summer injury troubles.

The 26-year-old Briton, who won World gold in 2007, has not raced since an abortive outing over 200m in May.

But she told BBC Sport: "Don't worry - I'll be there. I'm happy with where I am in training and that it's all coming together at the right time."

Ohuruogu pulled out of Sunday's Diamond League race in Birmingham.

Having also missed the European Championships and Commonwealth Games last year with a quad injury, that led to fears that she would also miss out on the UK Trials and Championshipsexternal-link on 29-31 July - and thus the World Championships in Daegu at the end of August.

Yet unfazed Ohuruogu has allayed those worries.

"My coach and my physio pretty much sat on me to prevent me doing too ahead of myself, and that slowly-slowly approach in terms of making sure I'm physically fit and mentally fit has been a good call," she said.

"It's been a crazy couple of months. In a cheesy way, it's been quite enlightening - it's always very difficult watching the races when you're not in them, but it's really paid off to be patient, and not to just dive in as I would like to have done.

"At this time of year you have to be really smart with how you train and race, to know that when you get to Daegu you have every part covered. There's always time - it's just a matter of how you use it.

"You might not necessarily have the best preparation or the one you had in years before, but you have to make the most of what you've got. That ultimately will make you a better athlete."

Ohuruogu's main rival over the past four years has been American Sanya Richards-Ross, who she beat to win Olympic gold in Beijing three summers ago but then lost her World crown to in Berlin the following year.

But Richards-Ross has also struggled this summer after missing last year through injury, leaving Botswana's Commonwealth champion Amantle Montsho and multiple 200m world champion Allyson Felix as the world leaders.

"The 400m is a beautiful event in that you never quite know who has got it together in a particular year," said Ohuruogu.

"We've all grown up together - I'm good friends with a lot of them, and I respect them as athletes, and I know that, come Daegu, they'll be ready. I know these girls - come August they'll be fine.

"Some have been racing since the start of May, and if you were going to bang out a 50.49 seconds every meet you just couldn't sustain it.

"Even though you're competitors and rivals, you do care. You watch when they do well or fall, and you do feel for them when they get injured. You realise that you're a lot more similar than you are different - we just like to beat each other.

Ohuruogu was hampered by injury at Manchester's Great City Games in May

Ohuruogu's 400m personal best dates back to her World win four years ago. Some have questioned whether she can run fast enough off such disrupted preparation to regain her crown, but she remains bullish.

"They asked me this in Beijing and they asked me this in Osaka - do you know, the time wil be whatever it takes," she said.

"Whoever is the strongest will win. People like to put the finger on the time, but the beauty of the event is that when you have people pushing each other, anything could happen. It might take only 51 seconds to win the Worlds - who knows?"

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