Christine Ohuruogu, the world 400m champion, has admitted she will not be at her best at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because she wants to save her body for next year’s world championships in Beijing and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Ohuruogu, who celebrated her 30th birthday by coming third in the 200m at the Great CityGames in Manchester on Saturday, said she had scaled back her training and was trying “to be sensible” so she could prolong her career before going out with a bang at the London world championships in 2017.
“I’ve been running world-class times for 10 years, which is incredibly hard on the body and at some point you have to be realistic and give it time to rest,” she said. “I’m trying to look to push again for another three years. And those three years are probably going to be even harder than the last lot has been.”
But Ohuruogu said she still wanted to compete in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships later this year even though she would not be going at full pelt.
“Everybody knows how I compete, everybody knows how I run,” she said. “But the 400m at next year’s world championships will be one of the most contested medals. So this year’s a bit of a juggling act: trying to do enough to stay relatively fit but not too much that I take away from preparation for next year.”
“This is a new experience for my coach and me; we’re in uncharted waters and we have to try and be sensible,” she added. “I am behind in training but we’ll just take it easy and find our way back, rather than trying to chase the season.”
Ohuruogu admitted she was tempering her medal expectations for this summer, despite her competitive instincts often coming to the fore at major championships. “They could kick in when I get to Hampden although you can be as enthusiastic as you want but, if you haven’t done the work, you’ve got no hope or Bob Hope,” she said. “And no amount of enthusiasm is going to help.”