RICHARD BUCK is adamant he will be back to his best this time next year after the York 400 metres runner left the Sainsbury’s British Championships empty-handed.
After missing out on selection for England’s Commonwealth Games team, Buck arrived at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium looking to prove a point.
But after advancing through his heat on Friday he couldn’t do the same 24 hours later in the semi-final despite finishing third. His time of 46.58 seconds was not good enough to earn a fastest loser spot.
The City of York Athletic Club ace now looks unlikely to grace the international stage this season as he is yet to dip under the qualifying standard of 45.70 for August’s European Championships in Zurich.
But having only switched coach to Nick Dakin towards the end of last year 27-year-old Buck admits the change has left him making up or lost time, although he insists it will all be worth it in 2015.
“Obviously I wanted to qualify for the final so I am a bit disappointed with how the British Championships went,” said Buck, who hopes to compete throughout the Summer Series – events proudly backed by long-term supporter Sainsbury’s.
“I headed into the semi-final not feeling too bad. I tried a different execution over the first 200m and I felt OK and that there wasn’t much more I could do but it just wasn’t enough to make the final.
“But on the grand scheme of things everything is looking up. I have a new coach in Nick Dakin and I am really grateful for him and I am getting to the point where my general fitness is probably better than it has ever been having changed last September or October.
“There is always a two-year switch with a coach so next year I will really be able to take on a lot more work which I am really looking forward to because I will really start to see the benefits.
“This year we are probably a month behind where we want to be because of the change of coach but it should all be worth it next season.”
Meanwhile, yesterday City of York AC’s Scott Lincoln finished fifth in the shot put with a best effort of 17.09 metres, Scott Rider taking gold with 18.34m.
And after just missing out on fourth by just 2cm, the 21-year-old insists it is all systems go for next year’s European Under-23 Championships in Tallinn.
“It was a bit gutting because I got knocked out of fourth by two centimetres, but distance-wise it is all right because you throw up hill in Birmingham,” Lincoln said.
“I have had a bit of niggle in my elbow all week so I haven’t trained as much as I wanted to but no excuses, it is an alright result.
“I am focusing on next year’s European U23s. The Commonwealth Games were an outside chance this year and I’m not going to that which is fair enough but next year it is the Europeans for me.”
* Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy