Woodford Green with Essex Ladies' Dan Awde is enjoying being able to focus solely on the 400m ahead of the Sainsbury's British Championships

Daniel Awde in action for Team GB. Picture: Action Images

Daniel Awde in action for Team GB. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
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Daniel Awde says he is reaping the benefits of switching from the decathlon to focus on the 400m ahead of this weekend’s Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham.

The 26-year-old, who represents Woodford Green with Essex Ladies Athletics Club, made the decision to trade the decathlon for the 400m ahead of the 2014 season and is pleased with how the switch has gone.

“I’ve found it really enjoyable. It’s really nice just doing the one event because you can put a lot more time into trying to better yourself in every aspect,” explained the two-time Olympian.

“It’s been comfortable. Obviously jumping down from training six days a week for about five or six hours a day to doing what we do in the mornings has given my body a huge rest.

“I’ve had – touch wood – no niggles or injuries since I started training and being able to have a life outside of training as well has been a big bonus. I actually have a day to do stuff with, which is really helping as well,” added the Hammersmith-born sprinter.

Awde continued: “It’s a lot more evident when you get to that stage where you’re very tired. In decathlon training, you’ll get to the end of the week and there’ll be some things where try as you might, it’s just not going to be there because you’re just so tired; it’s going to be a bit lacklustre. Whereas with just doing the one event, I’m able to train at a certain level every day, because I’m not over-training in a sense.

“You can just get on with it and do things to a higher quality constantly.”

The Team GB athlete set his personal best time of 45.85 in the 400m at Loughborough in May but despite his status as a relative novice as a specialist in the discipline, Awde is aiming to be more than competitive at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

“I’m still always taking it as it comes. I said when I started doing this; this year was always just going to be a feeler year, I was just going to enjoy racing, enjoy getting back out there, and enjoy not being injured,” admitted Awde.

“As we’ve gone along, of course, I’ve got a bit more hungry. I’ve got an idea of a time I’d like to get myself, sort of around 45.5. If I race well and compete well and things go OK, I don’t bother so much [setting targets].”

And, having competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Awde admits the opportunity to race for the title of British champion will be a huge incentive.

“It’s just something we all strive for and it’s something which gets you into the spotlight, to get that respect you want to earn from doing this sport,” added Awde. “That’s one of my goals along this journey that I’m looking to achieve.”

The top two athletes in each event will be selected for the European Championships in Switzerland in August, if they meet the requisite eligible qualification standard.

Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through its involvement in the Summer Series and beyond.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website at www.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/occasions/anniversary-games.

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