World 400m Hurdles champion Dai Greene underwent hip surgery after the indoor season. It has delayed the start of his summer campaign, but he is confident that he can get back to his best in time for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
“Since my last IAAF diary piece some of you may be aware I had to undergo a hernia operation in March. It came on pretty quickly. I had enjoyed a good indoor season, breaking the British record for 600m, but started to suffer some soreness in the hip. I was given the choice that I could either delay an operation until the end of the season or have it done there and then. I decided to have the operation done straight away. For me the decision was a no-brainer.
“At that point it was still five months to go until the World Championships so I felt even after the operation there was enough time to be ready to defend my title in Moscow. If I had postponed it until the end of the summer season I also ran the risk of not being able to carry out any high intensity sessions.
“The hip was becoming a bit of a problem. It would allow me to run at 95% but instead of, say, running 21 flat for the 200m it would only allow me to run 21.4 for the 200m. Over longer distances, the bigger the time differences would become.
“Fortunately, within nine days of the surgery I was working on the anti-gravity treadmill and I was back running again within two weeks. I can now do everything I need to in training, although some scar tissue has slightly held me back. There is a bit of a drop off in training whereby I can’t prolong every session in the way I would like. Running 60m or 100m full out is fine, but it is hard to put together a longer sessions with multiple reps.
“Naturally because of the operation and the one or two issues I’ve endured since, the prospect of competing at the first IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha was not possible. The Rome Diamond League meeting on 6 June might be a possibility, but I’ll make a decision on whether I compete closer to the time.
“So far this season the 400m hurdlers have made a steady start – certainly compared to two years ago when by this time of the season we had already seen a 47.6 clocking. Michael Tinsley, the Olympic silver medallist, has so far made the biggest impact and he appears to be running with confidence. I’m pleased for Michael, it is good to see his form because he is a really good guy. I’m sure when we see more of the likes of Felix Sanchez, Javier Culson and Angelo Taylor the season will start to unravel.
“I’ve also enjoyed a training stint in Daytona Beach, Florida, which went well. It was nice to get out of the cold British weather and we even managed a day out at the Universal Studios theme park. I must admit, though, I’m not really one for rollercoasters. My training partners hit some of the more gruesome rides, although I don’t cave into peer pressure easily so I was happy to stand and watch them.
“As some of you may already know I’m a huge Man Utd fan, so I was really surprised to hear the news Sir Alex Ferguson has retired as manager. The night before the announcement, rumours had started he was about to quit, but at the time I thought it was nonsense. His retirement is the end of an era and I was very shocked. Still, I’m really excited about what the new manager David Moyes can do. I just think the United fans need to be patient.
“This year, though, is all about trying to defend my world title in Moscow. I’m looking forward to my first ever trip to Russia and I’m excited to compete in the historic Luzhniki Stadium, scene of the great Coe-Ovett middle-distance battles at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
“Can I win in Moscow? I believe I can. I’m not in a dissimilar position to last year in that I’ve missed some winter training and I can’t quite do what I would like in training. However, where it differs from last year is I have a fantastic base of endurance from my winter training– my best ever – to draw upon. Things have to go relatively smoothly from here for me to win at the World Championships, but I believe I can do it. I just have to be patient.”