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More Trials and Tribulations

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Christine Ohuruogu wins 2004 Trials race
Christine Ohuruogu wins her first senior title at the 2004 Olympic Trials

 

07 July 2009

In the second of our series leading up to this weekend's Aviva World Trials and UK Championships, Christine Ohuruogu recalls her own personal experience of the national championships and in particular, her big breakthrough into the senior ranks.

In 2004, 20-year-old Ohuruogu was one of a number of first year seniors nursing a dream to make their first Olympic Games in Athens later that summer. She lined up alongside former winners Helen Karagounis and Lee McConnell, both established GB & NI seniors and Welsh no1 Catherine Murphy.

In her first AAAs final, she showed the character that has typified her career by running strongly to victory in 50.98, with McConnell and Karagounis in her wake. Looking back, she said: “I was very nervous for the final in 2004, it was my first senior final and definitely a big race for me.

“I remember watching the people I was going to race on TV as top athletes, then I was lining up next to them at the start. There were no expectations of me in the final, I certainly didn’t expect to win! I just wanted to run my own race and do my best.

“I was so shocked to win at the end, I really didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say! Looking back, it was a big breakthrough for me into the senior ranks. I entered the senior level with a bang you could say, at the age of 20.

“I know the transition can be really difficult from juniors to seniors, but I was suddenly preparing for my first Olympic Games, a year after taking a Bronze at the European Juniors in 2003.”