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Young Snodland athlete Jack Green heads to USA after funding snub

Jack Green
Jack Green

A teenage Kent athlete with a bright future has been crowned UK indoor under-20 champion – for an event which is not even his strongest.

Jack Green, from Snodland, holds the UK record for 15-year-olds and 17-year-olds in the 400m hurdles and was ranked number one in Europe at under-20 level last season with a personal best of 51.72 seconds – less than five seconds outside the world record which has stood for almost 20 years.

The 18-year-old won the UK indoor under-20 400m title earlier this month in Birmingham.

He said: "I only decided to go when I woke up at 6.30pm in the morning and decided to get a three-hour train to Birmingham and I didn’t even get a hotel room sorted out until 11pm that night.

"I don’t really like indoors but there is no 400m hurdles indoors so I have to wait for the outdoor season. I’m building up towards the World Junior Championships in Canada in July."

After winning his heat in 49.69 and then the semi-final in 48.25, Green produced a stunning run of 48.01 to win the title – one of the top 20 times ever recorded by an under-20 athlete.

The Kent AC runner will move to the US in August to take up the offer of a four-year scholarship at the University of Nebraska.

The Mid-Kent College student chose to pursue a place at Nebraska – which is known for the quality of its hurdles coaching – after failing to secure UK Athletics funding this year.

Green said: "There is lots of depth in hurdles there and the coach has produced several Olympic medallists. I emailed them when I heard I wasn’t going to be getting any funding and I heard back from the coach the next day.

"They have been getting to know me, talking every week and watching videos of me. It is a great opportunity."

Green was selected for the European Juniors last year but had to pull out due to injury, however he is hoping he won’t have to wait too long for more international recognition.

He said: "I plan on winning Olympic Gold medals. The London 2012 Olympics is something which I am looking ahead to. At this stage I am still a long way away but if I weren’t able to compete then it would be a disappointment.

"I believe it is a realistic goal, but I wouldn’t be too disheartened if I’m not chosen, so long as everything is still going all right."

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