David King reckons his reputation as the most ‘robust athlete there is’ was tarnished by his early exit at the European Championships.
The Plymouth athlete was eliminated in Wednesday night’s 110m hurdles semi-finals as a time of 13.73s could only produce a fifth-place finish.
After sailing through his heats in a time of 13.63s, King admits hamstring troubles struck over the next 24 hours to scupper his hopes of a medal showdown in Munich.
The Devon-based star says he’s made of sterner stuff but took confidence from recovering after a slow start to finish 0.27s away from a place in the final.
The 28-year-old said: “Usually I’m the most robust athlete there is and I can run the same race every single time.
“But today I wasn’t able to do that.
“It was one of those – I’ve had a tight hamstring all day, but in the warm-up I was still moving really well, running fast and it wasn’t slowing me down at all.
“Then literally on my first stride out of the blocks I just wasn’t able to get as much extension as I needed and from the first hurdle, I was chasing all of them.
“It felt like I was really far behind. Yet once I got into my running I was chasing them down nicely.
“I chased quite well, so showed I’ve got a bit of form, but by that time I felt good but it wasn’t enough.
“It was not as successful as I’d have liked it to have been – but I know I’m in good shape.”
King was knocked out in the semi-finals at the World Championships in Oregon last month after finishing seventh with a time of 13.51s.
The three-time national champion did not compete at the Commonwealth Games so travelled to Munich fresh hoping to improve on his semi-final defeat in Berlin four years ago.
He finished second in Tuesday’s heat before being unable to live with Italian Enrique Llopis and French star Sasha Zhoya when a shot at a medal was looming.
Both progressed to the final where Spanish speedster Asier Martinez scorched to a thrilling gold medal in the final race of Wednesday night.
King added: “It’s disappointing.
“It’s been a long season but hasn’t been as successful as I would have liked it to have been.
“I know I’m in good shape - I just haven’t shown anything in competition.
“I’m thinking about racing around Europe at the end of the season, so I’ll sit down with my coach to see if that’s something that will be good for me or not.”
The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website