Athletics

Plymouth’s David King is relishing European U23 Championship pressure

David KingCITY of Plymouth sprint hurdler David King cannot wait to try and make his mark at the European Under-23 Championships in Tallinn.

The 21-year-old was confirmed in Great Britain’s 35-strong party for the event on Tuesday.

The competition will take place in the Estonian capital between July 9 and 12.

“I’m really happy to be selected,” said King. “I kind of expected it and would have been really disappointed if I hadn’t been selected.

“But it’s nice to have that weight off my shoulders. I can relax again now.”

King will go into the 110m hurdle competition ranked third in Europe, just behind his Great Britain team-mate David Omoregie, who edged him out by one hundredth of a second at the recent trials.

Fellow British hurdler Khai Riley-La Borde, who has also made the GB team, is ranked fourth

“It’s quite open going into it as no-one has run as fast as I was maybe expecting them to around Europe,” said King.

“You don’t really know who is going to be battling, but going in third is a pretty good place to be.

“I am kind of one of the favourites. That kind of pressure to perform is quite nice to have.

“I’ve got the British Championships this weekend, which will be a nice prep race for it.

“I don’t think David Omoregie is doing the British Champs. He wants to be more fresh for the Europeans, but I would rather race and have it as preparation.”

King is hoping he can put down a marker this weekend and push Britain’s number one Lawrence Clarke.

“It will be different as usually there is a load running fast, but this year in the UK there is not that many, so it’s going to be quite open,” said King, who is ranked third in the UK senior rankings.

“I’ve got nothing to lose going into it. I would like to think I would be close to Lawrence and maybe challenge him.”

King competed at the European Championships two years ago as an under-20, but he went into the competition in Italy not fully fit.

He said: “It will be nice to kind of make amends and go into a championships fit.

“When I went injured I had no expectations whatsoever. It will be nice going in there knowing I’m running well and fast. Hopefully, I perform.”

King has enjoyed a great season. He has set a new personal best, earned his first senior international honours and has had opportunities to run at a number of events around Europe.

“It has been really good,” he said. “Mannheim last weekend was a little bit disappointing. I kind of had a few problems on the day with little niggles as stuff – nothing too bad and I’ll be fine by the weekend, even probably tomorrow.

“I know you can’t really run fast every race and I suppose it was good to get a bad one out before a big competition, but it’s not so good at the time or when you are travelling back having run rubbish.”

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