London 2012 Olympics: Hurdler Eilidh Child targets Games glory

Team GB 400m hurdler Eilidh Child hopes to contain her penchant for star-gazing as she bids for glory at London 2012

By Sportsbeat

Eilidh Child is hoping to contain her penchant for star-gazing and the stutters as she bids for a London Olympic breakthrough.

With the home Games Child’s first experience of the Greatest Show on Earth, the 400m hurdler admits her autograph book will take pride of place alongside her spikes in the kit bag.

Fellow Scot Sir Chris Hoy, as well as tennis superstar Roger Federer are all on the Child hit list – as is an Olympic final berth.

The 25-year-old Edinburgh University athlete has global pedigree having taken silver at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.

But after a stop-start race in securing her Olympic place, she knows she cannot afford any slip-ups if she is to rise to the occasion of some truly global competition.

“It’s all surreal and I don’t think I have taken it in yet,” she said. “I think when I get to the Olympic Village I will embrace it all. I really hope I get to meet Sir Chris Hoy.

“Having people like Roger Federer wandering around is going to be crazy. I will have to try to contain myself and not get my autograph book out too much.

“I finished second at the Olympic trials after a bad start and that was a bit frustrating. I think I was playing it a bit too safe.

“I was actually trying to run away from my coach after the race at the trials – I didn’t want to see him.

“He has got a thing about me stuttering over hurdles. He always says ‘make sure you stretch it’ and it is always the last thing he says to me.

“If I run a personal best and just miss out on the final I am not going to be too hard on myself because I know I would have done my best.

“But obviously I would just like to sneak into that final and then anything can happen.”

And Child admits she will take more than a little confidence from breaking the Scottish record in Geneva last month – plus her Commonwealth Games heroics – into the Games.

“It was really good breaking the Scottish 400m hurdles record,” she added. “There was more relief there because I met the qualifying standard but it was great to do it in style.

“It was a personal best as well and I knew I was in shape to get that. That has given me a confidence boost going into the Games knowing I am in personal best shape and hopefully I can do one better and break the Scottish record again.

“Winning silver at the Commonwealth Games was just proof for me just to know that I can go to an international event and not get too overwhelmed by the pressure.

“That was my first major event that I had been to and been one of the favourites to get a medal and the fact that I came away with one was good because it shows that I can cope with that pressure.

“Obviously it will be different on an Olympic scale but I will go there with that same mentality and hopefully produce my best performance.”

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