12.Jun.12 Londoners to do battle over 400m at Olympic Trials
After achieving personal bests and the Olympic ‘A’ qualification standards on the weekend, Linford Christie-trained 400m rivals Conrad Williams, Luke Lennon-Ford and Nigel Levine have set their sights on another showdown at the Aviva 2012 Trials on 22-24 June at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.
The London based athletes formed part of a strong British field in Geneva, Williams staked his claim for Olympic selection by winning in a time of 45.09 – smashing his personal best by over half a second. What made Williams’ run more impressive was the fact that he had already run a personal best in the 100m just a few hours earlier. His time of 10.40 knocked over two-tenths of a second off his previous best of 10.62.
“It [the race in Geneva] felt like Olympic Trials with so many Brits over here, so it was a good test for us all. The field was very strong, and there were only three British guys that were missing so it was a good preview of Trials.”
Despite achieving the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard, Williams is under increased pressure to finish in the top two at the Aviva 2012 Trials after Nigel Levine made it a trio of athletes to make the qualification mark from Christie’s training group, running a 45.11 personal best in Oslo last night. Williams is undaunted, however, and spoke of the strong bond that exists with Levine and the rest of their training group.
He said: “The A standard has been on the cards. I've just had to be patient with myself this year. I had good spring training in Arizona and me and my training group have come through strongly. We're trying to get everyone on the podium, get the A standard, which we did today, so it's all about Trials now.
“Now that I've got the A standard I can relax a little but I'm not resting on my laurels, I've still got to deliver in Birmingham. I've always looked forward to Trials, me and the guys always enjoy it. We have banter with each other in the warm-up and all of us in the 400m are very friendly.”
Williams’ training partner Lennon-Ford was also doubling up in Geneva having run the 100m earlier in the afternoon in a time of 10.77 and was faced with a further hurdle of being placed in the outside lane for the 400m. However, the 23 year old produced a particularly strong finish to cross the line in second place in a time of 45.23.
“It was a great day for me, running a personal best from lane eight, so I'm really happy. I ran a technically very good race and although I messed up from 250m to 300m a little, I ran the home straight brilliantly.”
The race acted as a preview of the Aviva 2012 Trials, as Lennon-Ford faced four of his potential rivals and believes that this experience will put him in strong contention for an Olympic place, with an eye on a role reversal when he goes up against Williams once again at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.
“It's great to have beaten most of the guys who will be in the final at Trials and lay down the point that I need to be in the Olympic team. I was also closing on Conrad [Williams] and if I had better sight of him, who knows what would have happened.”
The men’s 400m is scheduled for 23-24 June at the Aviva 2012 Trials, and joining Williams and Lennon-Ford will be the likes of British number one Martyn Rooney [Nick Dakin], Robert Tobin [Dan Pfaff], Richard Strachan [Linford Christie], Chris Clarke [Nick Dakin] and Michael Bingham [Scott Hall].
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