Ohuruogu in confident mood for Olympics

12 June 2012 / 18:01

Defending Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu warned her 400-metre rivals that she is ready to peak again in the athletics at London 2012.

Ohuruogu has been plagued by injury since her triumph in Beijing and she suffered the heartbreak of a false start at the 2011 world championships. But the 28-year-old ran a season's best 50.69 seconds in New York on Saturday and feels her Olympic preparations are right on track.

American rival Sanya Richards-Ross expects Ohuruogu to be a leading gold medal contender because of her ability to deliver on the biggest stage. And Ohuruogu believes the major championships do bring the best out of her.

"I don't need that much to get me too hyped, I don't need rocking music," she said. "(The occasion) would definitely lift the performance levels of a lot of British athletes. I don't like the scenario but I think I respond well to it."

Richards-Ross was favourite heading into Beijing 2008 but she was beaten into third as Ohuruogu produced a stunning finish to add Olympic gold to her world title.

"The one thing about Christine which means we can't count her out is that when it comes to major championships, she shows up and runs really well," said Richards-Ross, the current world indoor champion.

Ohuruogu insists her title of defending champion means the pressure is off her at London 2012, even though the Olympics are being staged next door to where she grew up, in Newham.

Far from feeling the weight of expectation, Ohuruogu said: "If anything I am happy I have an Olympic gold medal in my possession. It's one of the rare things not everybody gets the chance to lay their hands on.

"It is comforting to know that I go in as defending Olympic champion. I don't have to prove anything to anybody because I have already done it."

Ohuruogu has just returned from New York and will now focus her preparations on home soil. The Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on July 14 will be her last major race before the Olympics.