• London Olympics 2012

Ohuruogu not thinking beyond London 2012

Jo Carter June 21, 2012
Christine Ohuruogu will be the defending champion at London 2012 © Getty Images

Christine Ohuruogu insists she has not given one thought to life after London 2012 and will make a decision on her future after the Games.

Ohuruogu, the current Olympic 400m champion, has struggled with form and injuries since winning gold in Beijing, but appears to be hitting peak form in time for the summer.

Having clocked 50.69 seconds in New York earlier this month, the fastest time she has ever recorded ahead of a major championship, Ohuruogu is fit and injury free and is bidding to secure her place in Team GB at this weekend's Aviva Trials in Birmingham.

Having battled a series of problems since her victory in Beijing four years ago, Ohuruogu admits it is a challenge to find the balance between pushing hard in training and avoiding injury.

"It is a delicate balancing act," she told ESPN. "It is something that we try and deal with but it is not particularly hard if you know what you are doing. But you can't think about it too much.

"If you are living in constant fear of getting injured you would never do what you are supposed to be doing. It is one of those things that can happen but you just have to make sure you prepare yourself well enough that you reduce the chance of it happening."

Brought up less than a mile from Stratford, Ohuruogu's bid to defend her medal in London has echoes of Cathy Freeman. The Australian's 400m victory on home turf in Sydney became the iconic image of the 2000 Olympics and although Ohuruogu admits the comparisons are inevitable, it is not something that she thinks about.

"It's not really something I have thought about recently, maybe in the past," she said. "There are similarities and she is someone who I really look up to, I have immense respect for her."

"Ideally you would want things to be perfect but we can't all be perfect so we take what goes wrong and then we just own it and move on."

Having shrugged off injuries that had plagued her the previous season, Ohuruogu suffered heartbreak at last year's World Championships when she false-started in the heats.

"I don't really like to say I have regrets, I think things happen, you just have to accept it and learn from it," she said. "Ideally you would want things to be perfect but we can't all be perfect so we take what goes wrong and then we just own it and move on. Last year was one of those things when it doesn't work out as you planned, accept it and say 'OK, I'll try again next time'.

"I don't need [disappointment] like that to get me to work hard - I'm motivated anyway. It was unfortunate, but maybe it wasn't supposed to happen. I still went back and trained the next day, nothing can stop me from doing what I had to do."

Winning gold in London would certainly offer Ohuruogu the chance to bow out on a high, but it is not something she has lent any thought to.

"I haven't really thought about life after the Games, just trying to make sure I get through the next few weeks in one piece and sound frame of mind," she said. "Once the Games are over I will have an idea of what I would like to do. But not before a well-earned holiday!"

With Team GB finishing fourth in the Beijing medal table - Ohuruogu's was one of 19 golds out of 47 medals in 2008 - the pressure is on Britain's athletes to do even better in London. But rather than shy away from the expectation, Ohuruogu embraces it.

"Our success in Beijing should raise expectations and I think it is not just the fact that people that expect us to do, we ourselves expect ourselves to do well," she said. "I don't think many athletes are worrying about the expectations of others they are just want to prove to themselves what they are capable of.

"There are loads of people, not just track and field athletes, but a lot of people across the board who will be big surprises. I would like to say all of them have a good chance to do well. I have seen a lot of the guys, I have seen them work hard, I have seen their early season progression. If I was talking to any of them I would tell them, just go for it you have nothing to lose."

Back the team and watch over 750 of Britain's best athletes in action at the Aviva 2012 Trials at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium from June 22-24. To buy tickets to the Aviva Trials click here. Search for Aviva Athletics on Facebook or #BackTheTeam on Twitter

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Jo Carter Close
Jo Carter is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk