PLYMOUTH hurdler David King has his eyes on representing Great Britain at a major senior competition next year.
King has recently returned from the European Under-23 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, where he finished fourth.
Although he only turned 21 last month, the former Devonport High School for Boys pupil will not be eligible for the next European juniors as they are only held every two years. However, he has bigger things on his radar.
“The European Juniors are every two years,” said King. “You get three years at under-23 and I’m in my second year, so I wouldn’t be able to do the next one.
“But you almost don’t want to be doing two under-23s as it is the bridge to senior level.
“Hopefully, next year I will be competitive in the senior ranks.
“There’s loads going on next year. There’s the world indoors, which might not be so hotly contested with the Olympics coming up, so I might be looking to go there.
“There is also the European Senior Championships outdoors. That will be almost a development competition with the Olympics as well. It will be guys who are either trying to qualify for the Olympics or the ones who haven’t quite got the Olympic qualifying. That might be where I’m at.
“There is the Olympics as well. If I had a really good year then hopefully that might even be in my grasp.
“The Olympic qualifying standard is 13.47, which I’m less then 0.2 off, if you take my windy PB, and I would like to think I am in better form than my PB. I should be running 13.5 now, so I would like to think I should be there or there abouts next year. At the very least I want to be competing for a spot.”
However, King’s hopes of making his mark at the very highest level depend on securing some funding or sponsorship.
He has just graduated from Bath University, but he wants to stay there to train with his current coach and have the benefit of some of the best facilities in the country.
“So much depends on how I am going to fund being a full-time athlete,” he said.
“There is British Athletics funding which I would like to get, but it is very difficult to get.
“They set a standard which is 13.8 and I have run 13.69 and 13.63 (wind assisted) this year, but they only really want four people (in one event) on the funding.
“There’s a couple of guys who have been injured this year and aren’t running. To take a guy who is injured off funding would be quite harsh. Apart from that there is David Omoregie and Lawrence Clarke who have both run faster than me this year.
“They sometimes give out a fifth spot, but you literally have to make it so that they can’t give it to you. With my performance at the Europeans (narrowly finishing outside the medals) I probably haven’t done that yet.
“Unless I run super-quick in the next few weeks, then I don’t think I’m going to get it.
“There’s loads of other options, like getting more of a full-time job, there’s also possibly an opportunity to work with my coach, who is setting a new business up.
“I am definitely going to stay in Bath, but it’s how I am going to afford to be there.”
The City of Plymouth AC athlete plans on approaching some local companies to see if they would be willing to sponsor him.
If anyone could help, they should email PlymouthSportsGazette@outlook.com and we will forward your details to King, who is still hoping for a chance to run in this weekend’s Diamond League match at the Anniversary Games in London.