Plymouth hurdler King receives late call-up for European Champs

David King

PLYMOUTH hurdler David King will make his Great Britain senior debut at this week’s European Championships after all.

King was surprisingly left out of the original squad, despite finishing third at the British Championships and running under the qualifying time six times in recent weeks.

British officials opted to select William Sharman ahead of him, despite the fact that Belgrave runner had pulled out of the final at Birmingham due to injury.

They also opted to allow Andy Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke to double up at the European Championships and Olympic Games, having previously indicated that they would pick different athletes for the two major events.

King admitted he was ‘shocked and massively disappointed’ to be left out of the team for Amsterdam.

But he has now received a last minute call-up after Sharman pulled out.

King said on social media as he was about to board a flight to Holland: “So thankful to be added to the British Athletics team for the European Championships in Amsterdam!”

The 22-year-old former Devonport High School for Boys pupil added that it was ‘a huge relief’ to get the call-up.

King could still qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games. He has until July 11 to run under the qualification mark of 11.47 seconds. He did do it in Switzerland last month, clocking 13.40 seconds, but it was not accepted by British Athletics as there was a problem with the automatic timing.

He has twice run 13.54 and three times 13.57 seconds in recent weeks.

King, who was fourth in last year’s European Under-23 Championships, will compete on Friday lunchtime in the 110m hurdles heats in Amsterdam. If he were to run under 11.47 seconds then it would be highly likely that he would get the third men’s sprint hurdles spot in the British team for Rio.

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