James Dasaolu believes it is his duty as the newly-crowned UK champion to force himself into medal contention at the European indoor equivalent in Gothenburg in March.
Dasaolu made his first indoor appearance in four years at the Birmingham Games at the start of the month, running a 60m personal best of 6.60seconds to win his heat before going no further.
His effort was exactly on the required qualifying time for the European Indoor Championships with the 25-year-old just needing to finish in the top two at the trials in Sheffield a week later.
Dasaolu’s bid for his maiden UK indoor 60m title was aided when Dwain Chambers, the champion for the past five years running, pulled out after aggravating a nerve problem in his lower back.
He built through the rounds clocking 6.68 to win his heat and then 6.67m to finish second behind Rion Pierre in the semi-finals before turning the tide in the final at the EIS.
Dasaolu lowered his personal best to 6.58 to beat Harry Aikines-Aryeetey by 0.11 and now he feels he has to follow it up with another medal in Gothenburg in March.
“Obviously Dwain would have pushed me more because he has run 6.41, 6.42 before, so it would have been more competitive and pushed us both to quick times,” said Dasaolu.
“I am happy. It was a new personal best and that is what you want to do. You get quicker as the rounds go on and I ran my quickest time in the final which is what I wanted to do.
“I want to get a medal at the Europeans. As a champion and an athlete representing my country I want to win medals and the European indoors is a chance for me to win a medal.”
Dasaolu’s time certainly puts him in the mix with 6.58 equal with Chambers’ season best clocked in Glasgow last month and currently ranking both fourth Europe.
And Dasaolu admitted that is exactly what he intended to do upon arriving in Sheffield for the European Indoor Trials & UK Championships.
“I wanted to set a good time for the Europeans,” added Dasaolu – who reached the semi-finals of the 100m at the London 2012 Olympics.
“I think other athletes have gone 6.53 so I wanted to go around that and match them just so I can send a statement out that I want to challenge for a medal in the Europeans.”
© Sportsbeat 2013