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Last chance for Clovis
3:05pm Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Sport
CLOVIS Asong admits he has one last chance to make the World Junior Championships after a long-standing knee injury put paid to his hopes in the UK Under-20 Championships.
The 400m runner was hoping to post a time good enough to bag a seat on the plane to Barcelona come July 10 – 46.94 seconds – but he left frustrated and wondering if he would have the chance to make amends at the Olympic trials this weekend.
The 17-year-old won his heat and semi-final in Bedford before being advised against running in the final by his coach Keith Hunter – and now he faces a race against time to get his knee demons sorted.
The Sale Harrier admits it was a difficult pill to swallow but with his long-term very much in mind he believes he made the right call.
“I’m hoping I’ll be ok for the Olympic trials next week now, because I still need the qualifying time for the World Juniors and that’s my last chance to get it,” said Asong, who is part of the Spar Sprint Stars programme.
“I didn’t want to risk my knee. I’ve had the problem for three years, but it just got worse and there was no way I could race in the final.
“I could feel it in the heats and in the semi-final, but I just ran with the pain and blocked it out but I woke up in the morning and I just knew it wasn’t right.
“I feel so down but I just couldn’t do it. It was hard watching the other guys running out there, I was just watching the race and thinking I should be out there. I felt so bad because I couldn’t run.
The 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games champion insists the pressure is now firmly on his shoulders but he still expects to run the qualifying time to make it to Spain next month.
His quickest time this year remains the 47.26 he ran at the Loughborough International in May but his spirit hasn’t been dampened by this latest injury setback.
“Hopefully I can rest up and I will be fit enough to run under the World Junior Championships qualifying time in Birmingham,” he added.
“I’m still aiming to run a good race but there’s even more pressure now. I think if the conditions are alright and my knee holds up, I am sure I can do a good time and get the qualifying standard.”
* Brought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk