Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu said “it was just pure joy” to watch mentee Matt Hudson-Smith win bronze in the 400m at the World Championships.
Hudson-Smith secured his first individual world medal in Eugene, USA, thanks to a 44.66 second run which saw him finish behind the USA’s Michael Norman and Kirani James of Grenada.
The 27-year-old will return to the track for the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with the men’s competition set to start on Wednesday.
Ohuruogu, who retired in 2018, is one of the sprinter’s advisers – she said she was “very excited for him” after his third-place finish on the big stage.
“You know what it was just pure joy,” she told the PA news agency from the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.
“I’m just so happy for him. We knew it was going to be a very, very difficult task ahead. But I knew he was more than capable.
“And for me to see that he believed in himself that much… when I spoke to him afterwards he goes, ‘Christine, my race plan just went out the window!’
“That is an athlete that can trust themselves to go out and get the job and to execute in the way that they see fit as the race opens up in front of them. And that’s a real sign of maturity to adjust and adapt.
“I’m just so proud of him. I don’t even know.”
Hudson-Smith is also the reigning European 400m champion, and earlier in 2022 broke the British record.
The Wolverhampton-born athlete has battled three stress fractures in his back, while injury forced him to miss the 2020 Olympic Games.
“You know, this has been a long time in the making,” said Ohuruogu.
“He just said, ‘Chris, I just want to run, I just want to run’ and I’m like ‘Matthew, your time is going to come. Relax, relax, relax.
“So he’s been so excited for this – just to see him deliver at a very pressure-filled time and with very, very strong competition – 400m is generally a very tough competition – but he held it together. He really did hold it together.
“And I’m very excited for him. But the thing is the season isn’t done yet. So I can’t celebrate too much. I’m like Matthew we’ve still got work to do!”
Ohuruogu joined others including young athletes and people from the local area with the National Lottery at the Mary Peters Track – which received the first ever National Lottery grant in Northern Ireland – to celebrate the start of the athletics at the Commonwealth Games.
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million a week for causes, including funding for sport of all levels – to find out more, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe