OH SO SPECIAL…
BY JOEL CAMPBELL
‘Ohuruogo’s better than she realises’
Former 400m Olympian Roger Black has paid one of Great Britain’s emerging athletes the ultimate tribute.
Black has said that Commonwealth Games 400m gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu doesn’t know just how good she can be.
Black, who encountered many a battle with 400m record holder and former Olympic champion Michael Johnson, knows what it takes to be a champion over the one lap sprint and he has identified winning characteristics of a potential great in Ohuruogu.
Gushing at the thought of what Ohuruogu could achieve in the sport, Black claimed that the 21-year-old from east London can’t possibly know what she could achieve because the prospects are mind blowing.
Talking to the Voice of Sport Black said: “Christine is the most exciting talent in British athletics, no doubt about it.
“It doesn’t take a genius to work that out. I mean, she was playing netball three years ago. Out of all the British athletes out there at the moment she is the one that excites me more than anybody because I don’t think she knows how good she is."
Following Ohuruogu’s wonderful success at the Commonwealth Games where she beat Olympic and world 400m champion Tonique Williams-Darling for the gold, many had tipped the Newham and Essex Beagle to dip below the coveted 50-second barrier, possibly running 48 seconds, a truly world class time.
Ohuruogu shied away from making any dramatic predictions for herself but did claim that she believed she could run 49 seconds some time soon.
Asked his thoughts about whether the 48 second mark was a realistic target for Ohuruogu Black’s instant response was ‘yes’, he added: “She shouldn’t even put a time on what she could do be because she doesn’t know how fast she can run.
“She is the best thing I have seen in British women’s 400m running for a very long time and I am excited about her because I think she is in a good environment and she has a good dynamic coach in Lloyd Cowan.
“She has a good head on her shoulders and she is only 21-years-old. She excites me and I am looking forward to it."
Published: 19 April 2006