Nov 30 2012 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser
Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu is adamant Kinross-shire star Eilidh Child can help Britain’s 4x400m relay team win major medals again - provided she builds on her surprise selection for London 2012, writes Ryan Walters.
The 25-year-old qualified by rights in the 400m hurdles but was also part of the relay team in the 4x400m, running the third leg in the semi-final that put the British quartet through to the final.
Child missed out on a spot in the final as Perri Shakes-Drayton was preferred.
Ohuruogu, who won 400m silver at London to add to the gold she won at Beijing 2008, admits the hard work is only just beginning for Child.
But she is backing the former Perth Grammar School teacher to manage it to the benefit of Britain.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done individually for us to be able to be in medal contention in the relay,” said Ohuruogu – speaking at the Aviva School Sport Matters Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
“The experiences from London are something you can’t have unless you were there and the girls that experienced it in London like Eilidh Child and Emily Diamond will definitely have that to fall back on.
“It will help them in future championships and benefit the team. And the good thing is that the girls who intend to step up will now know what it takes.
“We know what we need to do to win medals and hopefully once they have that mentality they will be coming out and fighting hard to get on the team and hopefully while doing so, raising their game.”
Britain’s women’s one-lap relay team haven’t won a global medal since the 2007 World Championships and were four seconds away from bronze in London.
But Ohuruogu isn’t for a second doubting Child’s desire to end that hoodoo next summer in Moscow and go on to shine in Rio. She added: “I believe we could have medalled.
“Whether or not that was wishful thinking I don’t know, but I thought we were strong enough to medal.
“Everyone was disappointed, knowing that we could have come away with a medal, and I think everyone is ready and prepared to put the work in and make sure our relay team is as strong as possible.”
The Aviva and Daily Telegraph School Sport Matters Awards recognise outstanding achievements in school sport across the country, and are part of Aviva’s wider commitment to support the next generation of British sporting talent.