Croydon sprinter James Dasaolu named in Britain's Olympic team
A CHANGE of coach after an injury in December paid off for James Dasaolu, who was named in Britain's Olympic team this week.
Now the 100m sprinter says he will put in some hard training, after that interrupted winter, before London 2012.
The Croydon Harrier's first aim is to lower his personal best, 10.09 seconds from 2009, before the Games.
Delighted Dasaolu said of Tuesday's selection: "It just means that all the hard work over the last two or three years with injuries has come to something."
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He finished third in the UK trials, but had the A standard and was left out of Britain's European Championships team last week, a hint that he selectors had bigger plans for him.
"I knew I had a strong chance after the trials and given my other competitors hadn't run the standard as well just a few days before," he said of the Helsinki event, "but you never believe it until it's in black and white.
"It was a huge relief, especially as it is for a home Olympics.
"I personally believed that I had done enough as I'd run the A standard this year and last year."
Dasaolu had not been "ready to compete" in May's Olympic Stadium test event. "It was a shame, but it will make it that much more exciting," he said of August's Olympics.
"Not a lot of people know that I had a really big injury in December and I took the decision to change my programme six months before the Olympic trials. I did it just in time," he said, referring to a repeat of a previous hamstring injury.
He now trains with Steve Fudge and Kevin Tyler at Loughborough, which has become his base since he left for university.
Having maintained his Croydon links, he was delighted to learnt that his first coach, Paul Weston of the Harriers, had been awarded volunteer of the year in the Croydon Civic awards last week.
"He deserves it, because he does a lot," he said of the man who set him on the path to his Olympic dream. Lorna Booth gave him guidance later, including steering him towards coaches at Loughborough.
Now he intends to fine-tune his fitness with a race in Lucerne.
"My goal was first to qualify for the Olympics, now I need to get into the best shape of my life and back into my PB form. I want to run a PB before the Olympic Games."
There is also the prospect of a spot in the 4x100m relay - something in which Britain won gold in 2004.
"As long as we get the baton round, we seem to do well," mused Dasaolu, hopeful that could produce a route to a medal.