Jeremiah Azu Ready To ‘Get His Head Down’ After Sealing His Olympic Spot

Jeremiah Azu took second to Carl Lewis-caoched Louis Hinchliffe as both booked their Olympic spots in Manchester. (Photo by Gary Oakley/Getty Images)

Jeremiah Azu Ready To ‘Get His Head Down’ After Sealing His Olympic Spot

By Gareth James

Jeremiah Azu is ready to ‘get his head down’ and target Paris after booking his ticket to the Olympic Games.

The Welsh 100m record holder finished second in the UK Champs to confirm his slot having already bagged a qualifying time this season.

Azu clocked 10.25 in wet conditions in Manchester as Louie Hinchliffe – coached by nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis – won in 10.18.

“I am delighted to be on that plane to Paris,” said Azu, who withdrew from this month’s European Championships in Rome with a niggling injury.

“It is my first race back after a little niggle so I can’t complain. I think maybe the rest has done me good.

“I will go back to my training camp in Italy, get my head down, away from distractions and prepare for Paris.”

US-based Hinchliffe, who like Azu will make his Olympic bow, are set for a battle Royale over the next few years to be Britain’s leading sprinter.

The 21-year-old said: “This is the first year I have taken my athletics seriously. I used to focus on golf until a couple of years ago but now I am really focussed 100% on training, nutrition, rest – the whole deal.

“It means everything to be going to Paris – I have dreamed about the Olympics since I was a kid. I will go with the attitude that I can win. I seem to do well in the high-pressure situations, so who knows.”

Coach Lewis, who was watching on at a rain-soaked Manchester, said: “Louie still has some time to improve and I think he can become one of the best Britain has had.”

In the women’s 1500m, Melissa Courtney-Bryant booked her place in today’s final as one of five runners who have also met the qualifying standard for Paris.

Piers Copeland will also line-up in the men’s 1500m final today as the British indoor 1500m champion finished fourth in his heat.

Two Welsh athletes took home silver with from Freya Jones in the javelin and Patrick Swan in the men’s shot put.


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