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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Series13 Feb 2017

My greatest challenge – Christine Ohuruogu


Christine Ohuruogu at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (© Getty Images)

Britain's 2008 Olympic and two-time world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu has been one of the finest one-lap runners on the planet for the past decade. Here the hugely experienced athlete talks about how she has overcome a constant stream of challenges during her long and successful career.

Beating self-doubt

“I don’t think there is one greatest challenge I’ve faced in my career, but I think as an athlete, you face challenges every day. Like many athletes, I face self-doubt regularly; am I doing too much training, am I doing too little, am I fit enough, am I healthy?

"Throughout my career of more than 10 years, I’ve faced challenges. Last year, for example, was a really tough year. I enjoyed a really good winter training in preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but then I made a huge error. Despite all my experience, I overtrained. It was the first time it had happened in my career. I maybe got a little over excited.

"Typically, every year about April time I often face achilles problems and I usually take 10 days off. Yet in 2016 I didn’t have any issues with my achilles and I trained right through. I didn’t take a break and I maybe did too much in training. Because of this, by the time I got to Rio I was not at my best.

"I don’t like to say sport is a sacrifice, but I suppose the older you get, you realise what a sacrifice it is. Yet I didn’t want to give up (on the sport) after putting in all that hard work. I don’t know whether I’ve made the right decision to carry on (with the sport), but I’ve just got to roll with it.

"I would say I’m challenged every day. Every day I enjoy being challenged and maybe I respond best in adversity. You want to be challenged in order to become better as an athlete.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF