Richard Buck may run only in relay at Sheffield

Gazette & Herald: Richard Buck Richard Buck

RICHARD BUCK may opt to run only the relay at the World Indoor Championship trials in Sheffield this month.

The Ryedale runner was part of a Great Britain and Northern Ireland quartet that smashed a stadium record at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International late last month.

One-lap specialist Buck, along with Luke Lennon-Ford, Conrad Williams and Nigel Levine, beat the reigning Olympic champions the Bahamas as they clocked three minutes 6.27 seconds. It was a performance that has put Buck, along with his team-mates, in the driving seat for the relay team spots at the World Indoors, held in Sopot, Poland, in March.

Buck, the former Pickering schoolboy, was quickly back in action, flying to Vienna to race at a European Individual meeting last Tuesday. Running 46.67 seconds, he was third overall in the event.

But he and Nick Dakin, director of coaching for Loughborough University, have decided the outdoor season must be the priority and that means Buck might swerve the 400 metres individual event at the trials if he feels it might hurt his body.

“I’ve started off the season really promisingly and it’s always my ambition to go for both,” he said.

“It’s a really tough ask, though, to go flat out four times on three days against the world’s best. We will have to see how I am going.

“I am managing some small injury problems and, with the Commonwealth Games coming up, the outdoor season starts so early and that is my main focus.

“My best medal chance (at the worlds) is in the relay but, if I am running well enough, I will have a crack at the individual.

“It would be great to run in a world final and I haven’t done that yet.”

On his record-breaking display in Glasgow, Buck added: “It was brilliant – really good to get into the first team of the year and to get back into that environment.

“We beat the Olympic champions and, while the Commonwealth Games selection is more complicated than usual in that it takes times last year into account, when you are in the first team of the year you are in the conversation when teams are getting picked.”

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