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Benjamin in fitness race

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Tim Benjamin knows it is vital he quickly regains his world-beating form of last season if he is to challenge for the European Championships 400 metres gold medal next week.

 

The only British male athlete to make an individual final at the World Championships, he is struggling to hit top form after an interrupted build-up to Gothenburg with a groin injury.

 

His problem is not nearly as serious as the beginning of last year when the Cardiff-born athlete had a back injection go wrong, resulting in fluid leaking from his spinal column.

 

That problem confined him to bed for weeks, including two in hospital, and he suffered constant headaches and vomiting which saw him miss five months' training.

 

On recovering, Benjamin finally thought - after his momentous performances last summer when he twice beat Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner - his career was finally changing for the better.

 

The 24-year-old Welshman, free of illness and injuries, seemed to have turned the corner and was ready to fulfil the massive potential which saw him crowned World Youth champion seven years ago.

 

However, the world's fourth-ranked one-lap runner in 2005, is now having to step up a gear in double quick time, after his winter training was interrupted by his groin setback.

 

Benjamin was forced to pull out of the Commonwealth Games where his Welsh fans were adamant he could bring home a gold medal to the Principality.


 
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