London 2012: Gareth Warburton savouring Olympic debut

Gareth Warburton

Welsh 800m runner Gareth Warburton says he feels privileged to be following in the footsteps of Britain's Olympic middle distance greats.

Steve Ovett won 800m gold in Moscow in 1980 and Sebastian Coe was a silver medallist in the event on two occasions.

Warburton begins his 800m campaign in the heats on Monday.

"Britain has got an illustrious past with Coe, Ovett [and] Steve Cram. It's nice to be a part of that," he said.

Warburton had originally been left out of Great Britain's athletics squad after failing to achieve the second 'A' qualifying time he needed at the European Championships in Helsinki.

But the 30-year-old was added to the squad after a successful appeal and is now looking forward to his first Olympic debut.

"I wasn't in the team on the Tuesday when it was selected, had to appeal, then glad I got in the team on the Friday," Warburton said.

"It's going to be mindblowing. I've got nothing to compare it to because I've never been to an Olympics before.

"I'm there to run at the end of the day. I'm there to do a job and I'm sure I'll be able to do it there."

The Welshman, who was fourth in the 800m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is one of three British men in 800m along with Andrew Osagie and Michael Rimmer.

Warburton admits reaching the final of an event which includes World record-holder David Rudisha of Kenya will be an achievement in itself.

"The 800m has moved on a lot in the last five years. David Rudisha's pushed boundaries and I think it's brought the whole field up

"But I'm going to take every race as it comes. Hopefully I'll get through to the semi-final and then we'll take it from there.

"If I can get into the final anything can happen. We've seen in the past 800m, 1500m runners pick up medals."

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