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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 14:44 UK

European Athletics 2010: Rimmer aims to win first medal

European Athletics Championships 2010
Barcelona, 27 July - 1 August
Watch live on BBC HD/ BBC One/ BBC Two and BBC Sport website (UK users only); Live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live; Highlights of the biggest events on demand online (UK only) Full details

Michael Rimmer
Rimmer is Britain's leading 800 meter runner and has big medal hopes

Southport's Michael Rimmer hopes to claim his first major medal in the 800m at the European Championships in Barcelona next week.

The 24-year-old is confident he has hit top form in time for the competition.

"I'm going there to win," Rimmer told BBC Radio Merseyside. "I'm ranked second, so I have to go there to win.

"But it would be massive for me to get my first senior, major championship medal. That's really what I'm looking forward to."

"When you're ranked second you've got to be hoping you can get on that rostrum," he added. "I've proved during the season that I'm in as good-a-shape as anyone else.

"You can't take anything for granted - I've still got two rounds to negotiate before I get to that final."

After an injury-hit 2009, Rimmer has enjoyed a positive return to action in 2010, and is now the fastest ever 800m runner Merseyside has ever produced and the eighth fastest in British athletics history.

He recorded his personal best of 1 minute 44.49 seconds in the Diamond League meeting in Switzerland this month.

"It's been my best season ever," said Rimmer. "My last race was in Lausanne two weeks ago I ran a personal best.

I've sampled the Olympics, the World Championships and I've done the rounds, so to speak. I'm ready this time and I feel mentally on top of my game.

Michael Rimmer

"It's great to know you're in that shape before a major championship.

"I've been really consistent, which has been down to the training I've done this winter. I've had fantastic training sessions and I've had no problems and I'm reaping the rewards for putting all that hard work in."

But the Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton runner knows there is more to major championship success than form.

"The physical attributes can take you so far," said the man from Southport. "But when you get to these championships, it's a pressure cooker.

"In 2007, when I was only 21, I went to my first major championships. The pressure got to me and I lost it mentally and it cost me a final spot in the World Championship final.

"I've learned from that and I think this time I feel more mature.

"I've sampled the Olympics, the World Championships and I've done the rounds, so to speak. I'm ready this time and I feel mentally on top of my game."


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