Athletics / Olympics

Rio Olympics are a realistic target for city hurdler King after new PB

David King

PLYMOUTH hurdler David King admits this summer’s Olympic Games are a realistic target for him now after running a new personal best at the weekend.

King clocked 13.54 seconds for the 110m hurdles at the Loughborough International Meet on Sunday, where he finished second to countryman Andy Pozzi.

That time is inside Great Britain’s European Championship qualifying mark and just 0.07 seconds off their tough Olympic qualifying standard.

“It’s not 100 per cent certain, but hopefully that has guaranteed me a GB vest for at least the Europeans,” said the 21-year-old.

“But now it has raised my expectations even more. Now I’m thinking I’m only 0.07 away from the Olympic qualifying time and that was in a bad race.

“Both me and Pozzi were hitting hurdles and it did not feel that good. I saw him cross the line ahead of me and I thought his time would be like 13.6 and mine would be 13.9, but in fact his was 13.3 and mine was 13.5, so I was really, really happy.”

King’s impressive run at Loughborough came after he had come close to claiming a memorable win at the televised Manchester CityGames on Friday evening. He was leading with two hurdles to go but hit them both hard and finished third with American 2013 world silver medallist Ryan Wilson winning.

“Manchester was gutting, but really positive at the same time,” said King. “I was leading until hurdle nine and it showed there was a quick time in there.

“Everyone was coming up to me and saying that was so nearly amazing.

“But straight after I went to my coach and said ‘that was awful – I’m so annoyed at myself how bad it was’, but then I saw the time and thought ‘okay I’ll take that’.

“That was wind-assisted, so if I had run the time I threatened I would have been like ‘oh why?’”

King has yet to compete at a senior major championships.

He so nearly qualified for the World Indoor Championships this year but missed the qualifying time by 0.01 of a second.

“I’m hoping that does not happen again,” said King, who finished fourth in last year’s European Under-23 Championship.

“The Olympic trials are in June. They will provisionally select a European team before the trials. They will select three and a reserve for that and then if you get automatic selection for the Olympics they will then de-select you for the Europeans.

“It is really nice I have got the European time now.”

King will be hoping to continue his good form back in Devon this weekend when he competes in the South West Athletics Gala at Exeter. He is trying to persuade Pozzi to also run in Exeter to make it a must-see race.”

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