11:10am Wednesday 22nd February 2012
By Steve Carroll
RICHARD BUCK says nothing will distract him from his Olympic goal – not even the prospect of World Indoor Championship glory.
The City of York Athletics Club runner has been selected for Great Britain in both the individual and relay squads for the 400 metres at the upcoming indoor games in Istanbul, Turkey, next month.
Buck booked a berth following a stunning run of 45.88 seconds in the ‘national’ race at the Aviva Grand Prix meeting in Birmingham last weekend – a lifetime best in both indoor and outdoor arenas.
While the 25-year-old will travel to the games, held from March 9 to 11, hoping to add to the bronze medal he picked up as part of the 4x400 metre relay team in Doha two years ago, Buck explained the competition is part of a masterplan to join the Olympic party.
“The main thing for me, and the most impressive thing, was that I achieved a lifetime best on an indoor track and on one which is known for being slow,” he said.
“We (Buck and coach Steve Fudge) have not given as much focus to the indoors as in the past. We were always going to do it but we agreed that the Olympics is where it is at. So we have been doing a lot more heavy training with the summer in mind.
“We approached the indoor season with a view to using it to get a lot of information about how training was going. We thought it was going well and it was important to get in there and compete in a couple of races. You see a lot more from watching races than from watching training.”
On his prospects of medal glory in Turkey, Buck added: “It would be nice. Let’s be realistic about it. We’ve got a pretty good world ranking at the moment and our strongest medal chance is in the relay.
“As far as the individuals are concerned, I am thrilled to be going there in good shape and I will give it a proper go. But it’s only going to work if it builds up towards Olympic ambitions. The main thing is that I am making progress in Olympic year.
“Ever since London won the bid, I have made some huge sacrifices to try to improve myself personally and athletically. I am just determined not to make any slip-ups and mistakes and give it everything I have got to getting into the Olympic team.”
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