PLYMOUTH sprint hurdler David King will be looking to try and secure a place at this summer’s Olympic Games this weekend.
The 22-year-old is one of a handful of Plymouth and west Devon athletes competing at the British Championships in Birmingham, which are acting as Olympic trials.
To secure a place on the plane to Rio, King needs to run under 13.47 seconds for the 110m hurdles and finish in the top two at Alexander Stadium.
King thought he had run the Olympic qualifying time at the Gala Dei Castelli meet in the Swizz city of Bellinzona earlier this month.
He ran 13.40 seconds which ranks him 24th in the IAAF world rankings.
However, British officials have deemed that time ineligible for Olympic qualification purposes as there was a problem with the automatic timing.
“It is a bit of shame,” said the City of Plymouth athlete. “I’ve basically got to run the time and come in the top two this weekend. That’s the best chance I have.”
If he does not make the Olympic team he should be selected to compete for Great Britain at the Euros in Amsterdam.
“At least I’ve got the Europeans to fall back on,” said Bath-based King. “That would still be amazing.
“I’m just going to run and do my best this weekend.”
King goes into this weekend’s trials on a high after winning the England Under-23 Championship title last weekend. The former Devonport High School for Boys pupil clocked 13.57 seconds to beat European Under-23 champion David Omoregie, who had edged King out for the crown the year before.
“That was good,” said King. “I put together two good races and it was perfect preparation for this weekend.
“There is really no pressure for me this week as I am kind of the underdog.”
Andy Pozzi (13.32) and Lawrence Clark (13.42) have already achieved the Olympic qualifying standard. William Sharman and King both ran under it at Bellinzona but it has not been recognised. However, both have officially got the European standard.
Gabriel Odujobi and Omoregie have also run under 13.60 previously in their careers, which will make the men’s 110m hurdles one of the most competitive events this weekend in Birmingham.
King will be joined at Alexander Stadium by fellow City of Plymouth hurdlers Jade Simson and Matt Sumner.
Sumner, meanwhile, will line up in the heats of the 400m hurdles.
Also competing in Birmingham will be Erme Valley Harriers’ American-based triple jumper Sam Trigg.
Trigg was England Under-23 champion in 2015 before moving to New Mexico to study for a masters’ degree. Trigg is ranked in the UK’s top 10 this year.
Tamar Trotters’ Mike Wilsmore will also be in action at Birmingham. He will line-up in the heats of the 1,500m.
Simson, Sumner, Trigg and Wilsmore will all be in action on Saturday, while King will have to wait until Sunday to compete. The 110m hurdle heats are scheduled for 12.45pm, with the final due to start at 3.17pm on Sunday.