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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 11:33 UK

Ohuruogu set to be fit for Berlin

Christine Ohuruogu
Ohuruogu is looking to repeat her triumph in Japan two years ago

World champion Christine Ohuruogu says she is overcoming her hamstring injury and will defend the 400m in Berlin.

The Londoner pulled out of recent meets in Paris and the London Grand Prix, but will now join the 60-strong British team heading to Germany next week.

"I withdrew just as a precautionary measure," the 25-year-old said ahead of the championships, where her event starts with heats on 15 August.

"I am back running and I am back on track for Berlin."

It has been a testing few months for Ohuruogu since she won a sensational Olympic gold in Beijing almost a year ago.

Illness forced her to withdraw from an Italian meet in June, before struggling to sixth spot behind winner and American arch-rival Sanya Richards at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

Following a comfortable win at the UK trials in Birmingham, Ohuruogu then injured a hamstring which led to her withdrawal from the Paris Golden League meeting and last week's Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.

But despite her stuttering form and fitness concerns, she insists she is ready to compete at the World Championships, which run from 15-23 August.


"I don't see myself as reigning champion. That is just extra pressure that I really don't need. I just see it as another championship I want to go and do well at," Ohuruogu said.

"This year I would have liked to hit a couple of top level meets just to try a different challenge but the focus ultimately is the championship.

"That is something I have got in my system, to go to a championship and do well."

Richards, who took Olympic bronze behind Ohuruogu in China, is likely to push Ohuruogu all the way in Berlin but the Briton remains focused on herself and not the American.

"I have ideas of how people run but you don't go into a race expecting anything. Even if Sanya does change her race it won't make any difference how I run my race," she added.

Nicola Sanders, who won World 400m silver behind Ohuruogu two years ago in Osaka, missed the trials through injury but was also selected for the British team, helped by an impressive showing at the recent London Grand Prix.

Ohuruogu and Sanders are also down to compete in the 4x400m relay, alongside Vicky Barr, Lee McConnell and Perri Shakes-Drayton.

Jess Ennis - fourth in Osaka in 2007 - is one of Britain's best hopes for a gold in the heptathlon after recovering from her fractured foot and impressing throughout the summer.

UK Athletics chief Charles van Commenee is hoping to match the five medals Britain won at the last World Championships.

"It's an ambitious goal, but that's how we have to approach the Championship," he said.

see also
GB pick Chambers in Worlds squad
31 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu to miss London meeting
17 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Gay eases to 200m win in London
25 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Our man at Crystal Palace
25 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt wins London 100m at a canter
24 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu & Chambers win in Paris
11 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu finishes sixth in Oslo
04 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Williamson gunning for big stage
23 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt cruises to emphatic 100m win
17 Jul 09 |  Athletics

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