Five minutes with Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu

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Can we expect any more Moscow-style photo finishes at the games in Glasgow?

Yes, of course there’s always room for photo finishes! I’m doing the relay this year, so slightly different for me but I do really believe that the Commonwealth Games is a great opportunity for a lot of athletes to step up and make their mark on the international scene, so it will be great for the athletes to go out there and contest for the medals.

You got into athletics at the age of 16. Did you always know that you wanted to carve a career out of it?

I first found the track when I was about 16, but I didn’t really make a deliberate move until I was about 18. I played a lot of netball, so I realised at 18 that I couldn’t do netball and university and work all at the same time.

So who inspired you back then?

Nobody in particular. I was very much my own person. I learned from a very young age that the world is pretty much there for us to go and make our mark on. I just wanted to go out be good at whatever I did.

When you got the gold medal in the 400 metres in 2008, it was an extraordinary moment, you must have been so proud?

I can’t really remember much of it now, which is a shame. I put in some long, painstaking preparation for that. It really was difficult, I had a lot against me. I wasn’t very sure if I could repeat what I did in 2007 – a lot of people thought I couldn’t. So yeah, there was a lot against me, but I’m really, really proud that I was able to keep my belief in myself and push on ahead. It was a special time, although so much has happened since then!

Yes, the London Olympics was just phenomenal.

It truly was. And I think we can expect the same or better from the games in Glasgow. I really do think that London set such a high standard, now everybody understands – British people understand – what it means to hold a sporting event in the UK, and I know the standard will be raised again in Glasgow, so I’m really looking forward to that. The great thing about sport is that it brings everyone together.

Your sister Victoria seems to be following in your footsteps.

Vicky, yes, she is a good athlete. The worrying thing I think for both of us is that she probably thinks she has to do what I’ve done. I sense she’s probably feeling a bit under pressure to try and achieve my stats, but I keep reminding her that I’ve taken a very different route – I started track a lot later.

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