Julz out to star at the Olympic Stadium
DEEPING hurdler Julz Adeniran lines up at the Olympic Stadium this weekend but he hopes it won’t be for the only time this year.
He goes in the 110m hurdles as UK Athletics puts on a programme of events to run alongside the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships at the Olympic Stadium.
It is the first time Adeniran will have competed at the Olympic Stadium but the 23 year-old hopes it won’t be the last time he lines up there this year.
Adeniran, bronze medallist in the 60m hurdles at this year’s English Indoor Championships, recently returned from a warm-weather training camp in Italy under the guidance of hurdling legend Tony Jarrett and he hopes to produce a big performance in London this weekend.
He said: “Most of the UK’S top 10 with the exception of Andy Turner will be competing so whoever comes out on top will draw first blood in what is a massive year.
“It’s a chance to show some good early season form and I’m looking to run well, but of course I hope it’s not the only time I compete there this year.”
Adeniran was delighted with the response to an appeal for people to help fund his trip to Italy and reached his £1,400 target, and indeed surpassed it by £55, thanks to 32 donations.
He joked: “That £55 certainly wasn’t profit, it probably pays for one visit to the osteopaths!
“I was delighted with the response I got and am grateful to The Evening Telegraph for publicising my appeal and to people like the Crowland Show for backing me.
“It was a great trip although it was more like a boot camp, it certainly wasn’t a sightseeing trip.
“I was training two or three times a day and sleeping in between, but it went really well and hopefully the rewards will come during the season.”
Adeniran, the highest-ranked sprint hurdler in the country not to be earning Lottery funding, made his appeal on the sponsume website but took a gamble to go to Italy before the money was guaranteed.
He added: “I took out a loan to fund the trip. I’d already received enough contributions to know my flight was paid for and it was a gamble but this is such an important season.
“Hopefully a successful season will make it easier to get Lottery funding for next season although funding is more helpful when you’re trying to reach the top rather than when you get there.”
Adeniran ran his first outdoor race of the year at the weekend but any thoughts of winning soon fizzled out and he had to settle for second place in the Loughborough Students BUCS Trials in 14.70.
He was running into a strong headwind but that was the least of his problems as he explained: “It wasn’y really my outdoor opener, it was more a race experience.
“The athlete in the lane next to me collided with me at the second hurdle so the race was a write-off.” SPALDING sprinter Chris Craig will open his outdoor campaign at this weekend’s four-day Olympic test event which gets under way tomorrow.
The former English Schools silver medallist had not intended to begin his season yet following a virus that curtailed his winter campaign but he admitted: “The invite came as a bolt out of the blue but when someone asks if you want to compete in the Olympic Stadium you can’t really say no, can you?
“I hadn’t planned to open my season this early and because of the training block I’m in at the moment I won’t be as fresh as I’d like going into such a race but the most important meeting this year will be the Olympictrials.”
Craig received an international call-up for the Vienna Classic in Austria during the winter but was forced to withdraw due to the virus.
“That virus really knocked me for six and it ended my indoor season and caused me to miss a month but I feel as fit as ever now.
“Some people need three or four races before they feel race-fit but I’m not like that and I feel I’m in shape to run a personal best (PB) at the moment.
“I know from how well I’m training on the track and from doing weights in the gym that I’m really fit and if I don’t run a PB this weekend it will be because I’m in a heavy block of training.
“My target this season is to reach the final at the Olympictrials and when you are in the final anything can happen.
“If I’m being perfectly honest I think the Olympic standards (the A standard is 20.55 and the B standard is 20.65 compared to Craig’s legal best of 21.14 and a wind-assisted time of 20.98) are a little beyond me at the moment and I’m thinking more about making the team for the 2016 Olympics, but I’m looking forward to this weekend.”
BIG WEEKEND: Julz Adeniran hopes to impress in London this weekend.