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Hurdler Jack Green shines on Diamond League stage ahead of European Team Championships

By Alex Hoad

Hurdler Jack Green says his shining Diamond League performance has given him the confidence that he can mix it with the best in the world.

The Folkestone-based former Brockhill School, Hythe, pupil has enjoyed a fine month, with six top-class performances across five countries.

His form has earned him the sole GB place at this week’s European Athletics Team Championships in Lille - the 400mH heats are on Friday evening with the final the following afternoon.

Jack Green Picture Barry Goodwin

Jack Green Picture: Barry Goodwin

Maidstone-born Green’s latest result - if not time - was his best yet as he finished fourth in a star-studded field at the Stockholm Diamond League - his first race in the global competition since the Doha meeting in Qatar in May 2015 - where he was also 4th.

Green ran a fine race in tricky lane eight and was on course for an eye-catching sub-49 second time until he caught the final hurdle and had to settle for fourth in a still respectable 49.29secs, with winner Karsten Warholm clocking 48.82.

He said: “Hitting that hurdle made a lot of difference. My time down the back straight was six-tenths of a second slower than usual - if I’d not hit it and lost momentum then I’d have probably won the thing.

“I got a bit close to it and went up and over rather than keeping a nice forward momentum and I managed to cut my knee in the process, but fourth still equals my best Diamond League finish, and this field was much stronger than the last one.

“Karsten ran 48.2 in Oslo last week and runs at 100mph and nothing else, but I was coming back at him. I am trying to step up to a different level.

“My PB was ranked seventh coming into the race but I beat some good guys and the people ahead of me were Olympic medalists, finalists or in the top three in the world.”

He added: “I learned a lot from that race - the best thing was that I was there and know I can do it. (Event organisers) know now there’s someone else in the mix, which is nice.”

Green - who trains in Canterbury and Ashford - had won the 400mH at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, five days earlier, clocking 49.78secs in testing conditions.

He said: “It was a World Challenge event, one below the Diamond League, and I had not one won before. The conditions made it feel like work, rather than running for enjoyment, but a win is a win. It’s been my best week for a long time.”

Green is one of a handful of double Olympians in a largely experimental 53-strong GB squad for the competition in Lille this weekend but claimed: “It wasn’t necessarily in my plans this season but I am not going to turn down a GB vest. I can’t say no to representing my country and I have never done one of these before, previously there has been Dai Greene in the way or last time I fell in Geneva just before the competition.”

He added: “It’s all about building on Stockholm. There are some quality guys there, though it is not a European Championship-quality field.

“If there’s good weather on a nice track and I can execute my race cleanly then it should be a good result.

“I really want to tick a 48-second race off, I’ve been a bit unlucky with conditions this year and my times aren’t doing me justice at the moment.”

The British Championships - which form the trials for August’s World Championships - are in Birmingham on July 1 and 2 with Green having several qualifying standards behind him and just needing to secure a top-two finish to secure his place at his second World Championships.

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