Lynsey looking Sharp ahead of track test

07 August 2012 / 22:28

Lynsey Sharp has been reassured by Charles van Commenee she will be under no pressure when the UK Athletics head coach's biggest selection gamble takes her Olympics bow on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who is the daughter of 1980 Olympic sprinter Cameron Sharp, will be the only home representative in the heats of the 800 metres.

Sharp, who won the Olympic trials before taking silver at the European Championships, said: "Charles called me a week after selection, said there was no pressure on me and said 'We want you to use this, make the most of it and we have faith in you'. It was really nice and made me feel good about everything."

Sharp's focus is firmly on improving her personal best of two minutes 0.52 seconds, set in claiming that silver in Helsinki.

"In training I've been running PBs for all distances so I'm in the best possible shape," she said. "I'm confident I've got more than another second in me from what I ran at the Europeans. It'll be tough to get in the final, but that's what I'm aiming for."

No one will be cheering her on louder than her father, who will be watching on TV in Scotland.

He reached the semi-finals of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 in both the 100m and 200m, finished fourth in the 4x100m relay and claimed a European silver medal in Athens in 1982.

However, the 54-year-old regards getting out of a wheelchair and learning to walk again unaided to be a greater achievement than anything he did on the track, following a car accident in 1991 which left him battling to recuperate from physical and mental disabilities.

The travelling involved in getting to London makes it too arduous for him to attend, but his daughter will take to the track inspired by his advice.

Sharp said: "Dad said 'There's nothing like an Olympics - other majors are completely different. Make sure you enjoy it and make the most of being part of the team'."