Athletics / Olympics

King heads to Finland to have one more go at trying to secure Olympic place

David King

PLYMOUTH hurdler David King has not given up on his dream of making this summer’s Olympic Games.

The 22-year-old finished third in the 110m hurdles final at the British Championship at the weekend.

Only the top two, providing they had the qualifying time, were guaranteed a spot on the plane to Rio.

Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke achieved that to secure their places in Brazil.

However, Britain can take three athletes in the sprint hurdles, meaning there is still one spot remaining.

King could still claim it – if he can run within the Olympic qualifying time of 13.47 seconds before July 11.

He thought he had achieved the all-important time earlier this month in Switzerland. He ran 13.40 seconds at the Gala Dei Castelli meet in Bellinzona, but British officials have not accepted that mark as there was a problem with the automatic timing.

King had run under the European Championship qualifying time five times in recent weeks and he was expecting to be named in the Great Britain squad for that competition in Holland at the start of July.

GB named their team for Amsterdam yesterday and surprisingly King was not included.

British officials decided to name Pozzi and Clarke in the European team, despite having previously indicated that athletes going to the Olympics would not be doubling up, and controversially William Sharman.

Sharman pulled out of the British Championship final on Sunday with injury.

King has run more times under 13.60 this season than Sharman and beat him in Switzerland.

The City of Plymouth athlete has admitted he was ‘massively disappointed’ not to be named in the European Championship squad, but has now decided to try and achieve the Olympic qualifying mark himself.

He has today flown out to Finland to run in Turku.

King, who has clocked 13.57 seconds in each of his last three races, said on social media: “Yesterday, British Athletics announced their team for the European Championships. I was left shocked and massively disappointed when I realised I had not made the team.

“My coach and I met this morning and have made the late decision to continue my campaign to make the Olympic team. Europeans or no Europeans.

“I am currently travelling to Finland where I will fight one last time to run the Olympic standard.”

King suffered disappointment earlier this year when he missed out on qualifying for the World Indoor Championships by 0.01 second.

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