Osagie bullish on 2012 chances

Andrew Osagie believes he is on track to capitalise on his breakthrough performance at the World Indoor Championships at the London 2012 Olympics.


Seizing 800m bronze in Istanbul ended a frustrating run of fourth-place semi-final placings – including both the World Indoors and Commonwealth Games in 2010 and last year's World Championships – and was an improvement on his previous best international performance - fourth at the European Indoor Championships 12 months ago.

“I think I have got as much chance as everyone else of medalling at the Olympics," he said.

"I need to be one of those people that is running just quick enough and I will need to get my tactics just right on the day.

“I just missed out on the World Championship final last summer and they are going to be the same people that will be at the Olympics.

"So I just need to keep my head down now even though my feet have come off the ground after winning a world medal.

“But winning the World Indoor bronze has given me massive amounts of motivation. There is nothing better than winning a medal. I would have loved it to have been silver or gold but it was my first international medal and was a really big step for me.

“I have been on an upward curve for the last three years now and it will culminate this summer, and despite a few injuries and niggles I have been lucky to have improved.

“I am starting to hit my senior peak years and the next four years are going to be big for me. I hope I am hitting the right form at the right time. If I can get there a little bit earlier – just in time for the summer – I will be more than confident that I can represent GB as well as I ever could.”

Seb Coe won Britain’s last 800m Olympic medal with silver in 1984, four years after Steve Ovett hit the front on the home turn to comfortably secure first place ahead of a late-finishing Coe during Britain’s golden years.

Likewise, Osagie had both Joe Thomas and Michael Rimmer – semi-finalist at Beijing 2008 – behind him to become the 2011 British Champion, setting a personal best and Olympic qualifying standard time of 1:45.36 along the way.

Steered into shape by Craig Winrow, who reached the 800m semi-finals for Britain at Atlanta 1996, at their St Mary's University base, the Essex-born athlete is now starting to show real form following a career beset with recurring injuries.

Yet the media spotlight inevitably follows success, and he was even featured in Tottenham’s official Matchday programme for their recent FA Cup match against Bolton.

But the self-confessed supporter is adamant it will only spur him on to greater achievements.

“A lot of people say they love training and love just going out running. I almost hate the training – but I absolutely love the racing. The competitiveness and the edge that you need to win – I think I have it, and I love it,” he added.

“I think I am on the map a little bit more now. People maybe recognise my name a little bit more and that only bodes well for me. Although I may get a little bit more nervous now, I hope that the extra limelight applies more pressure on me. I love the pressure, and the more I get, the better. I really get a good vibe from it and I am able to feed off it.”

Osagie is currently in Kenya for three weeks of altitude training, which he believes will facilitate his progress to deliver him in top form for the first round of Olympic Stadium 800m heats on August 8.

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