Ohuruogu launches medal offensive at Diamond League


OhuruoguChristine Ohuruogu will open her Diamond League campaign in Doha with a “different mentality” to previous seasons, according to her coach Lloyd Cowan, as she seeks to shed her reputation of being purely a championship performer.

The Londoner’s ability to rise to the big occasion was underlined last summer when she won the Olympic 400 metres silver to add to her 2008 Olympic gold and 2007 world crown, but her bread-and-butter performances on the grand prix circuit have rarely hit the same heights.

She has just one Diamond League victory to her name, which came at last year’s London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, and has never run under 50 seconds outside a championship final.

That is a statistic Ohuruogu and Cowan are hoping to rectify this year, with a plan to attack her races more aggressively in the first 200m.

Rather than holding herself back for the World Championships in Moscow in August, she aims to race herself into medal-winning shape by contesting a full Diamond League programme for the first time in her career.

Her mission is to break the cycle of second, third and fourth-place finishes on the international circuit, and maybe throw in a few sub-50 times as well.

“If you’ve been doing it for five or more years and you’ve won an Olympic gold and a silver, what more can you actually do?” said Cowan. “When she finished the Olympics, she thought, ‘That’s it. I’m fed up with this. I’m going to start chasing those girls down’.

“I want her to get out there and battle with the girls in as many races as possible. We’re not shying away this year. We have to take them on.”

The new approach has already resulted in Ohuruogu’s quickest time for a season-opening race when she clocked 50.56sec at the Kingston Invitational last Saturday, which came hot on the heels of her fastest 4x400m relay split of 50.4sec at last month’s Penn Relays.

Such good early-season form is unprecedented for Ohuruogu and should make for an exciting race in the Diamond League curtain-raiser when she takes on American triple Olympic champion Allyson Felix and Botswana’s world champion Amantle Montsho.


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