Danvers backs Shakes-Drayton to medal

Danvers backs Shakes-Drayton to medal
By Eurosport

27/07/2012 at 02:25Updated 27/07/2012 at 02:31

Beijing bronze medallist Tasha Danvers has said that the London Olympics are Perri Shakes-Drayton's chance to shine.

Shakes-Drayton smashed her personal best time in the wind and rain at a meeting at Crystal Palace recently.

"This is her best chance of Olympic glory," Danvers told Eurosport. "With the PB, she is in the form of her life.

"The field is pretty open, with no one setting mind-blowing times - most are over 54 seconds this year.

"This is a great opportunity to medal in her home Games, and it only heightens the intensity of the experience for her. But she is very aggressive in her determination and she's got very good legs."

Shakes-Drayton was overlooked for the 2008 Games in Beijing despite winning the UK Trials in that year, as she failed to achieve the requisite qualifying time. Veteran Danvers was picked in her place, and the rest is history.

However Danvers does not believe that her fellow Briton will suffer for lack of prior Olympic experience.

"Anybody running well in Olympic year wants to be picked for the team," she continued. "It's not as if it ended up as a wasted opportunity!

"It was an amazing experience: it is what you train for, and when it comes to fruition and you do it on the world stage, it is worth the hard work. I hope she experiences that."

The pressure of a home Olympics is a potential hazard for all British athletes, but Danvers says that the hurdles in particular is fraught with pitfalls.

"There is a danger of changing tactics if you get overly nervous, but hopefully by preparing and visualising the race she can avoid that," she added.

"And there is always a chance for any athlete to suffer. It's the hurdles; it's athletics. You can miss the gun, set off too late, clip a hurdle.

"If she gets it right, she will reach the final and she has the potential to medal. I'm a supporter of hers and expect good things."

Scot Eilidh Child is also running for Britain this summer.

"Eilidh and I trained together," Danvers said. "The minimum I expect from her is to reach the semis.

"She should be aiming to do a PB... how that would equate in terms of position I'm not sure, but she's stronger this year."

The home nation's best chance of one-lap hurdles gold, however, is in the men's event with Welshman Dai Greene, while youngster Jack Green and European champion Rhys Williams will also fly the British flag.

However Greene lost at Crystal Palace to 2012 world-leading Puerto Rican Javier Culson.

"Everyone is watching Dai Greene," she added. "He has a lot of work to do, but he's a fighter. It's all about who copes with the circumstances the best on the day. He has a lot of experience from racing in different countries.

"Jack Green is fantastic: he is the fastest European in his age group that has ever lived and he will keep growing as an athlete. It's hard to learn the hurdles as a senior, never mind as a junior making the transition. He will be a huge star in the future.

"Rhys Williams will have been given a boost by coming through the race-off at the European Championships and winning gold like he did. He has medals and quality."

Tasha Danvers was speaking at the official opening of the Mizuno Performance Centre - open to the public between the 24th July and 12th August at Centre Point Building, 101- 103 New Oxford Street. Visit for further details.