Osagie inspired by Ovett advice

20 June 2012 / 18:32

Olympic hopeful Andrew Osagie has revealed how he has been inspired by just three words from middle-distance legend Steve Ovett.

Osagie is aiming to follow in Ovett's footsteps by winning gold over 800 metres in London and can draw on words of wisdom from the man himself after Ovett - Olympic champion in Moscow in 1980 - proved keen to pass on his experience.

"I spoke to Steve Ovett in New York two weeks ago and that was a big positive for him to say to me 'You've got something'," Osagie said ahead of this weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham.

He added: "Those few words probably mean more to me than sitting down and having an hour conversation with a coach. Someone who has been there and done it, to give kind words and nice words is really good.

"I saw him in the mixed zone after the race and said it would be great to catch up later. We were staying in the same hotel and he came and found me in the lobby and it was totally inspirational. It definitely spurred me on for these next five weeks."

Those five weeks, of course, lead up to the opening ceremony in London, but first there are the Aviva Trials this weekend. The first two athletes in each event will gain selection, providing they have the 'A' qualifying standard, and Osagie will be out to repeat his victory in last year's world championship trials at the same venue.

Osagie, who has a black belt in karate, is certainly not lacking in self-belief and admits he is "probably overly confident" in his own ability, but a bronze medal in the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul and a number of good performances on the Diamond League circuit are at least vindicating such convictions.

"I love pressure," said the 24-year-old from Essex, who set a new personal best of one minute 44.61 seconds in finishing third in New York. "I love competing, racing, pressure.

"If it wasn't there I wouldn't be in the sport as much, I wouldn't enjoy it as much. There's nothing better than overcoming a challenge and that's why I set myself targets that I'm going to do in the next year or so.

"In my head I've always had the potential and people have told me you've got the potential to maybe start winning some of these races or doing well and luckily it's coming true. The timing is right for me, it's a big year for British athletes."