Dai Greene’s amazing comeback
FORMER CHAMP AIMS FOR GOLD COAST GLORY AFTER LONG SPELL OF INJURY
DAI GREENE could emerge as one of the great stories of the 2018 Commonwealth Games if he caps his comeback from injury by winning a medal on the Gold Coast.
In 2010 the Welshman took Commonwealth and European 400m hurdles titles, plus world gold in 2011. One year ahead of London 2012 he was tipped by some as the British athlete most likely to win Olympic gold on home soil.
But an injury nightmare followed and many thought his career was washed up. Until this winter, that is, as he has amazingly whipped himself into good shape and possible medal contention.
Greene’s big problems started in 2013 when doctors inserted mesh into his groin during a hernia operation.
The surgery is commonplace but the mesh got twisted in his groin, affecting the nerves in the area, and further operations followed.
“It hit me hard, I couldn’t run or move properly,” he told BBC. “I was in a lot of pain. I had another surgery at the end of 2013, another one in 2015 and again in 2016, all to fix issues around that first operation.
“The hurdle technique puts the groin in a really stressful position and it upset it really quickly,” he added. “I had to have it removed and the hernia repaired a different way.
“It takes quite a while to come back from those surgeries.”
Greene has not contested a major championships final since 2012 and he missed the Rio Games completely. He lost sponsorships and lottery funding but says he has never once considered quitting.
“It was frustrating but I knew the ability was still there and I believed I would get back to the startline,” he said.
“I don’t want to fizzle out. I have just as much appetite to train and work hard and be better as I did 10 years ago. It never occurred to me to pack it in.”
The 31-year-old narrowly beat the Welsh qualifying standard and deadline with 49.49 in South Africa last month and has since improved to 49.38.
His best is 47.84 and if he can get anywhere near that, he will be in the hunt for gold again.
Dai Greene: Commonwealth 400m hurdles gold in Delhi