Van Commenee backs Ohuruogu in London

13 March 2012 / 07:31

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee believes an "inspired" Christine Ohuruogu is back to her best and one of many reasons for optimism ahead of the London Olympics.

Ohuruogu has suffered badly with injuries and a loss of form since winning 400 metres gold in Beijing in 2008, while her dislike of indoor competition meant she was a somewhat reluctant competitor at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul at the weekend.

However, that certainly did not look the case as the 27-year-old Londoner ran a storming third leg in the women's 4x400m relay, powering from third to first to set up hurdles specialist Perri Shakes-Drayton to anchor the team to victory, leaving an impressed Van Commenee to remark: "Ohuruogu is back, completely."

The gold was the highlight of a final day which brought five medals and took the team's tally to a record nine - surpassing the total of seven achieved in Birmingham in 2003 - with the men's relay quartet taking silver to go with bronze medals for Shara Proctor in the long jump, Andrew Osagie in the 800m and Holly Bleasdale in the pole vault.

Van Commenee has already set a target of eight medals in London - with one of them gold - and sees no reason to change following the performances of the likes of Ohuruogu and triple jump champion Yamile Aldama in Turkey.

Van Commenee said: "I've seen that in training and it's good to see now. Usually she has not been a great relay athlete, she was always really good in the individual event but did not manage to reproduce that in the relay.

"But now she is inspired and that is very good news for London.

"She is an ambitious woman and when you are an Olympic champion and a former world champion you hurt when you are not a shadow of the person you used to be, so she turned it around.

"Actually, I think she turned it around a few months before Daegu (last year's World Championships) but as we know we she couldn't show the world she was on the way back as she false-started.

"She continued that and I think she is back. She has a great training partner now in Shana Cox every day, rather than her on her own doing a session, so the quality of training goes up seven days a week, so I think that helps both of them."

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