It was with a certain amount of relief that Borders athlete Chris O’Hare crossed the finish line in first place at the British Athletics Championships last Saturday.
And a great deal of delight when he received the call on Tuesday informing him that he had been chosen to represent Great Britain at the 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Moscow.
O’Hare captured the gold medal in the 1,500m run at the championships, held in Birmingham last weekend, crossing the finish line in a time of 3.51.36 minutes.
However, the 22-year-old from West Linton thought he had done enough to earn selection for either the European Championships or Olympic Games last year – but gained an invite to neither.
His exclusion left him with multiple points to prove – and on Saturday he did just that.
“It’s been quite a difficult year when all is said and done,” said O’Hare, who is studying at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. “I feel I have been on the bad side of the selection policies for quite a while and finally I am on the good side. It’s great to be able to tell people I have finally been selected for something. It’s now my time to shine.”
O’Hare’s race on Saturday was one of the best examples of the steady improvement of British middle-distance running since its glory days during the 1980s – and O’Hare is confident he and his compatriots can build on the foundations already laid.
“We have a really good group of guys and we will all be striving to rejuvenate British distance running. Everyone thinks the African runners are just too good, but they are there to be beaten along with everyone else. I just can’t wait to get to Russia and mix it up with them,” he added.
With less than a month to go until the World Championships, O’Hare is back to the grind before joining the rest of Team GB to fly out to the training camp in Barcelona prior to the event in Russia, which takes place from August 10-18. Most of his family are flying out to lend their support in Moscow, although younger sister Olivia, a top-class distance runner herself, is having to return to Tulsa where she also studies. Both O’Hares are aiming to be part of the Glasgow 2014 Scottish team.