Dai Greene’s amaz­ing come­back


Athletics Weekly - - News -

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

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