Buck Off . . . To CWG

[January 22, 2006]

I want gold at Olympics

(Hull Daily Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Ferriby athlete Richard Buck is targeting Olympic glory after being selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Games.

Buck, who is a member of the Rowntree Athletic Club, has been picked as part of the 400m relay team for the Games in Melbourne.

Now the 19-year-old is looking forward to the start of the Games in March - and is hoping to achieve his long-term medal dreams at the London Olympics in 2012.

He told the Mail: "I’m really excited about the Games - it is going to be absolutely fantastic. This is what I’ve been aiming for.

"I went to the 2004 Youth Commonwealth Games in Australia and I decided there that I wanted to come back.

“I got the bronze medal, but in the relay we were disqualified and I thought to myself ‘wait until I come back here, I’ll make up for it.’”

This may be Buck’s first taste of action at senior level, but the teenager - who lives in Ferriby - isn’t planning to go to Australia to simply make up the numbers.

“I’m an athlete and winning medals is what I want to do,” added Buck. "I’m going out there to succeed.

“I’m looking to help the team win a medal, but I’m looking to advance myself experience wise as well.” Buck, who was born in Grimsby, made great strides in 2005 and finished the year ranked seventh in the British 400m rankings.

Now, the young runner - who names US 400m legend Michael Johnson as his sporting idol - is looking ahead to a bright future.

He has already set himself the goal of winning an Olympic gold, and he’s determined to succeed.

He explained: "Myself and my coach are really focusing on the London 2012 Olympics. That’s what we are building up to.

"It seems far off, but my entire training has changed since the announcement that London got the Games and we are now working up to 2012.

“I’m looking at the London Olympics as being my competition. I’m planning on doubling up in the 200m and the 400m.” Buck certainly has lofty ambitions, but the rising star has a calm head on his young shoulders - and although he knows he has a long way to go, time is on his side.

He added: "When you look at the fast times needed to win medals at major competitions, you wonder if you can ever achieve it.

"But you break it down and say ‘I have this many years to do it, which is this many months and this many days.’ You don’t have to improve much each day to have a massive improvement over a course of time. If I look at it that way it becomes really achievable.

“This season I’m leading the British rankings for 200m indoors and I’ve just set a British 300m indoor record. I’m confident about the future.”

Links Commonwealth Games 2006 www.melbourne2006.com.au Rowntree Athletic Club www.athleticsyork.org.uk UK Athletics www.ukathletics.net