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Richard Buck achieves lifelong ambition after making Olympics squad
RICHARD BUCK said he had achieved his “life’s goal” after making the Great Britain team the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 25-year-old City of York Athletics Club runner was selected yesterday as one of eight runners in Team GB’s 4x400 metre relay squad that will go for gold at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Having lost his UK Athletics funding and been forced to take a job at Tesco to make ends meet, Buck, who claimed a sixth international medal when taking silver with the 4x400m relay team at the European Championships in Helsinki, felt the sacrifices he had made to get to this point had been worthwhile.
“Everything I have done has been focused around this point,” Buck said. “This has been my life’s goal. I haven’t thought about anything past this moment.
“After the European Championships I was optimistic about making the team but you never let yourself relax.”
Buck is joined by Luke Lennon-Ford, Rob Tobin, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Nigel Levine, Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams in the squad and is determined to play a key role as the Olympics returns to Britain for the first time since 1948.
“I have been working hard but a lot of the guys have been putting the work in,” added Buck. “It’s been an incredibly competitive year and the times I have put up would have had me to the forefront of the rankings in any other year. It is great for me to have progressed and this (competitiveness) makes our chances of getting a medal that much better. I will try and prove my worth to the team and I would love to be in that final four.”
Buck ran the anchor leg as GB claimed silver in Helsinki and, after also making his first individual final in the Finnish capital – finishing fifth – he is in confident mood of improving upon the 45.83 seconds he ran in the first round.
“It was a brilliant weekend,” he said of his exploits in the European Championships. “I am a bit shot now having raced back-to-back at the Olympic trials and the Europeans and that has had a huge physical effect on my body. It has been worthwhile. I showed the selectors that I have got guts, that I am reliable and can post a consistent time again and again. It is brilliant to get another medal. They are what I am going to remember my career by.”
The City of York Athletics club runner booked his berth in Team GB after claiming a silver medal with the relay squad at the European Championships in Helsinki last weekend.
The 25-year-old has overcome the odds, including the loss of his funding and taking a job at Tesco, to make the squad and will be hopeful of gaining another medal at the Olympic Stadium, in Stratford, next month.
"Since the Olympics were announced I have made some big life choices - committed myself to track and field - and this was always the game plan. It makes it all worthwhile," he said. "I trained this morning and wanted, as much as possible, to pass the time (before the announcement). "It is a huge relief. It has been a tough couple of months - with the loss of funding and trying to fit training in around work - it hasn't been easy. But this news is just brilliant."