Greene draws inspiration from Twell

30 July 2012 / 13:19

Great Britain's athletics captain Dai Greene has called on his team-mates to take inspiration from athlete Steph Twell, whose own Olympic dreams were dashed by injury in a stirring speech ahead of the Games.

Twell has been tipped for greatness even since emerging as a hugely talented teenager, becoming world junior champion over 1500 metres in 2008. The 22-year-old has worn a London 2012 clothes pin every day since London won the bid in 2005, but, now the time has come, will not be involved.

Having recovered from a badly broken ankle that kept her out for virtually the whole of last year, a foot injury ruled her out of last month's trials and the following European Championships and ended her hopes of selection.

Greene, the world 400m hurdles champion, said: "Use Steph's story to appreciate what you have and think about how she would give anything to be in your shoes when you get to the start line and use that to inspire you."

The Welshman was addressing the team at their warm-weather training camp in Portugal ahead of the start of the athletics programme on Friday.

His speech also urged the team not to come away from the Games with any regrets. He said: "Set the bar high, don't be content with making the team. Don't look back in 10, 20 years and think you wish you'd done things differently. Aim for your own gold medal whatever that may be."

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, who chose gold medal hopeful Greene as his captain, spoke about the tough journey he and the team had been on to get to the Games.

"Our journey together has been hard and that is why you are such a success by being here," he said. "No-one in this room has had an easy journey."

The Dutchman talked about hitch-hiking from Amsterdam to Birmingham for a junior championships only to get robbed while camping in a field next to the stadium, sleeping on park benches at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and getting moved on by police.

"I wasn't born head coach of UKA," he said. "I've seen you grow. You make me proud and we can reap what we have sown. I feel privileged to having been part of this and lead you to a home Games, you can't get bigger."