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Indoor ace Richard Buck in the Eurozone
RICHARD BUCK is focused on more medal glory when the European indoor season gets under way early next year.
The 25-year-old 400-metre runner, buoyed after learning his funding from UK Athletics had been resumed, wants to make a splash at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, next March.
While Buck has twice been picked for Great Britain teams at Olympic Games, it is in the indoor arena where the City of York Athletics Club athlete has experienced most of his prodigious success on the track.
He has picked up medals in each of the last two European games, winning silver in the 4x400m relay in Torino in 2009, repeating that feat two years later in Paris, as well as winning bronze in the individual 400m in that same competition.
He has also won a bronze medal in the 4x400m teams at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, in Qatar, in 2010 and silver in Istanbul earlier this year.
Now York’s most decorated athlete is hoping to add to his haul, boosted by the knowledge that he has returned to the World Class Performance Programme. Podium funding, which he will again receive, is given to individuals and relay squads who have genuine potential to medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in four years’ time.
“The focus is the indoor season which starts in January and looking towards the European Indoors in Gothenburg in March,” Buck confirmed. “I got the (individual) bronze at the Europeans a couple of years ago and I’ll hopefully get one or two medals this time. We’ll see how it goes.”
But, despite being back on the funding train, Buck says he has no plans to abandon the job at a Loughborough Tesco, which he took when he lost his funding streams a year ago, although he admits he may trim down his hours.
“Ideally, I will be scaling it back,” he added. “The hours I have been having to work were slightly detrimental to my performance. I have been doing 30 to 40 hours a week on the track and then 20 to 30 hours at Tesco.
“I’ll have quite a bit of time off for the indoors and hopefully come back on slightly reduced hours. I think it is good to have the job there as it is a good distraction. It is quite positive.
“Athletics is a humbling thing to do. It is a privilege to be able to run and I love doing it regardless of whether I am funded or not.”