Dai Greene insists he will not let another trip to the surgeon’s table derail his 2013 season as he looks to blow his London Olympics adventure out of the water this summer.
The 27-year-old arrived at London 2012 as the reigning 400m hurdles world champion but saw his preparation for the Games affected by knee surgery in the winter.
This meant that Greene wasn't 100 per cent fit when he took to the track in the capital and finished agonisingly short of the podium in fourth.
Greene got back to business in January with a 600m run-out at a British Athletics International match but has seen his injury jinx strike again as he underwent a double hernia operation in mid March.
But with the World Championships in Moscow fast approaching Greene is adamant he is still on course to strut his stuff in Russia .
“I am in a much better place than I was last year because I have done all the endurance work in the winter,” said Greene, who also finished fourth in the 4x400m relay at London 2012.
“I am in a position where I have already qualified for the World Championships so I can just concentrate on getting back for Moscow.
“After six weeks of training I felt as if I had turned the corner of last year after putting in the hard work. That was reflected in a good indoor run in Glasgow in January.
“I tried to push things but I felt a bit of a niggle in February. One side was causing me more problems than the other and I could not produce the intensity in training.
“At first I thought 'not again' after what happened last year.The doctor told me had two options. I could either push on and struggle for another five months or have an operation straight away. It was a no-brainer and I had surgery.
“My surgery has delayed the start to my season because I was going to be competing in Doha . I will probably start in early June now depending on how the next few weeks go.
“I will be back and running in time for the European Team Championships in June and there is no reason I should not be selected.”
And when he arrives in Moscow it is clear that there is only thing on Greene’s mind – successfully defending the crown he won in Daegu two years ago.
“I don’t aim for anything less than gold – that is certainly attainable,” added Greene. “I don’t want a silver or bronze although I know it will be hard to retain my title.
“I was running some very good times last year before the Olympics but not just consistently and my lack of fitness showed.
“I expect to be running those times more consistently and hopefully that will see me top of the podium again.”
© Sportsbeat 2013