World bronze medallist and European and Commonwealth 110m Hurdles champion Andy Turner will start his 2012 Olympic campaign in earnest with a return trip to Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall for the Aviva International Match on 28 January.
Following on from his third place showing at the World Championships in Daegu, Korea, in August, Turner will launch his 2012 international campaign in identical fashion to last season as he steps up his bid for back-to-back podium finishes on the world stage.
In four appearances at Kelvin Hall Turner has consistently finished inside the top three – and took victory in 2007 – and will be keen to keep his unblemished record in the 60m hurdles intact when he lines up in the event this month before a capacity crowd.
Turner’s approach to his Olympic year has not been entirely conventional, with the 31-year-old having just returned from a winter spent at a warm weather training facility in Orlando, Florida, just minutes from the Disney World amusement park.
Training alongside close friend and reigning Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver, one of the men to beat in London this summer, Turner managed to avoid being distracted by the bright lights of Disney World and remains steadfast in his approach to the London Olympic Games.
He said: “It’s really exciting that we’ve finally made it to 2012, it’s a really important year on the calendar but there’s a lot of work still to do before the Olympics.
“I’m feeling really positive about the year ahead, I’ve had a great winter of training and feel strong coming into the indoor season. If I can get a good couple of results under my belt early on in the season it will show I’m on the right track and set up a really good year.
“My training was pretty unique over the winter, I escaped the UK for some warm weather in Orlando and it was a really great environment. I trained with David (Oliver) quite a bit and obviously he’ll be one of the guys to beat in London so it was a great opportunity to train alongside him.”
Despite the success of his 2011 season Turner, who returned to UK shores this week, is refusing to bask in the glory of his World Championships performance and has quickly turned his attention to the Aviva Series 2012.
“2011 was a pretty good year for me,” said Turner. “It gives you a real boost in confidence to win medals on the world stage. Bronze at the World Championships was a great achievement but it’s not enough to carry me through until the Olympics, I have to keep pushing and keep striving for that edge.
“Glasgow is a great event, there’s always a good field at the meet and it will be a good chance to really test myself after the winter. I enjoy training but racing is obviously what it’s all about so I’m looking forward to getting out there amongst it and seeing where I’m at.
“2012 is a huge year and I’m doing everything I can to prepare for it but you can’t let the Olympics take over. The whole country has gone mad for the Olympics but right now I’m all about Glasgow and starting my year on the best note I can.”
The Aviva International Match is shaping up as one of the hottest tickets in town this month, with 5000m world champion Mo Farah set to headline the Aviva GB & NI charge against teams from the USA, Germany, Russia and a Commonwealth Select representative line-up, in the home side’s final appearance on UK soil ahead of the Olympic Games.
Also set to join Turner and Farah at a sold-out Kelvin Hall this month are world 1500m silver medallist Hannah England and European 800m bronze medallist Jenny Meadows, as well as a host of the world’s top international athletes all on the road to the London Games.
Organisers for the IAAF