CITY of Plymouth athlete David King is looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season will bring after becoming British champion and securing his place at next month’s World Championships.
King claimed his first national senior title by winning the 110m hurdles final in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon.
As he had already run the qualifying time, that victory guaranteed him a spot on the Great Britain team for the IAAF World Championships in London.
King was over the moon with his success and he admits it is still sinking in now.
“It is still a bit surreal really,” he told Plymouth Sports Gazette. “I am going to meet with my coach tomorrow just to plan the next few weeks properly, I think then it will hit home.
“But it is pretty crazy.”
King went to Birmingham knowing he just had to finish in the top two to secure his spot in London.
Great Britain number one Andy Pozzi opted not run at Alexander Stadium, having already been told he would be selected, that left King and Omoregie as the only two athletes in the field who had already run the qualifying time.
But both knew there were other dangerous competitors in the field, like Khai Riley La-Borde, who ended up taking second after Omoregie stumbled.
“I know Pozzi was not there, but it was always going to be a good fight between me and David Omoregie,” said King, who won in 13.55 seconds. “It is always close when we race. Obviously something went wrong for him, but I was happy to have another consistent run.
“It was nothing amazing – it wasn’t a great run at all – but I was really, really happy.
“I went into the race not caring what time I ran. That was pretty irrelevant; it was all about the position.
“That was kind of quite nice. It was a different type of pressure to the usual one I put on myself.”
King admitted it is a big relief to have secured his spot after a number of disappointments qualifying for international events in recent years.
“Now that I have done all the high pressure things – getting the time and getting my place confirmed – it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes.
“I am doing the Anniversary Games this weekend. There is literally absolutely no pressure on me to do anything there. I can just go there and enjoy it. I think that will be the theme for the rest of the season.”
King has not competed at a global championships before, having just missed out on qualifying for last year’s Olympic Games and World Indoor Championships.
The former Devonport High School for Boys pupil, who only turned 23 last month, knows there will be no expectations on him in London. He just wants to make the most of the experience, where he will be cheered on at the Olympic Stadium by his family.
“I think mainly the aim is to enjoy it and see what happens,” he said. “There is no pressure on me to make the final at the worlds. That would be very tough to do, even the semi-finals will be tough to make, but I suppose you would say that’s my aim. But overall it is just about enjoying it.”
King did qualify for the European Indoor Championships earlier this year and he feels his selection for that and the World Championships justifies his inclusion on British Athletics’ Olympic podium potential programme. He had struggled for funding until this season.
“There’s no more I could have done to justify them putting me on funding,” he said.
And King still believes there is a lot more to come from him in future years.
“I am definitely not at the peak of my physical development,” he said. “There is way more improvements to be made.”