Corby athlete William Sharman has vowed to turn the tables on David Oliver next time they meet after the Olympic bronze medallist pipped him to victory at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
The 28-year-old finished second behind Oliver’s compatriot and Olympic champion Aries Merritt in his 110m hurdles heat first up but the world record holder pulled up in the final later that day.
Merritt’s mistake allowed Sharman to run Oliver, who won Olympic bronze at Beijing 2008, close, but he fell narrowly short despite clocking a personal best of 13.26 seconds.
The performance, cheered on by a 65,000-strong crowd in the Olympic Stadium, represents ideal preparation for Sharman ahead of the World Championships in Moscow.
He will be Britain’s only representative in the 110m hurdles in Moscow and has his sights set firmly on successfully ploughing a lone furrow in Russia and claiming a medal.
“So close, but I’ll beat him next time,” he said. “I’m happy with that – just doing the right things before Moscow.
“There’s no point going there unless I’m aiming for a medal. This was my Olympics because I didn’t get to run last year.
“It felt fantastic. It’s been a long time coming for me. Everybody keeps telling me what I’m capable of but I haven’t been fulfilling my potential until now.”
Four years ago Sharman was a last-minute call-up to the British squad for the World Championships in Berlin and he made the most of the opportunity.
After world record holder Dayron Robles pulled up in his semi-final, Sharman cruised to victory, before improving his time to finish fourth in the final.
He missed out on bronze by 15 hundredths of a second in Berlin but believes there is more in the tank, which can see him exceed his efforts from 2009.
“I’m so pleased with a personal best – there should have been more but I lost concentration,” he added. “I was happy to get off to a good start because I worked on that.
“I’d love to go one better than Berlin four years ago. Thanks for your blessing and I’ll try to execute that.”
The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is the final event in the Sainsbury’s Summer Series. For more information on Sainsbury’s support of world class athletics and disability sport go to www.sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk/occasions/anniversary-games/