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Athletics - 12. June 2012.

Last race for Ohuruogu before the Olympic Games

Reigning Olympic 400m Champion Christine Ohuruogu [coach: Lloyd Cowan] today announced that the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 14 July, will be her last big race before the Olympic Games.

Ohuruogu has enjoyed a great start to 2012, including a gold medal in the 4x400m at the World Indoor Championships, and the Londoner will be looking to lay down a marker for her leading rivals at Crystal Palace, as she embarks on her quest to retain Olympic gold this summer.

After running a 50.69 season's best in New York on Saturday - Ohuruogu's fastest ever time in advance of a major championships - the London girl is showing the kind of form that set her up for her gold medal winning performance in Beijing four years ago.

"I feel the excitement as after a few years held back by injury I am back in good shape. I still have more work to do in training but everything is on the right track. My preparation hasn't really been different; the programme that worked in 2008 is similar to what we have been doing this year."

"I felt good [before Beijing], I had won the World Championships in 2007 and was very confident. If I am fit and healthy going into a Championships I know I will run well.

"My lasting memory [of the Olympic Games] is the feeling of achievement and the satisfaction of doing what I had been working for with my coach Lloyd Cowan for many years."

After an injury-disrupted few years since her exploits in Beijing, the 28-year-old admits that being Britain's only defending Olympic champion, has led to increased scrutiny on her performances.

However, Ohuruogu believes that she can put this pressure to one side as she aims for victory on home soil this summer.

"The media are always your friend when you are winning. I run for myself and have a good team around me to help keep me on track, I don't let the media add pressure. Unfortunately I had an injury in 2009 at the World Championships and finished fifth."

As a part of her preparations, Ohuruogu will head to Birmingham's Alexander Stadium for the Aviva 2012 Trials, where she will look to cement her place at this summer's Olympic Games.

Prior to Saturday's race in New York, Ohuruogu was the only British athlete to have achieved the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard. However, GB Team mate Shana Cox (51.54) set a season's best in New York, and here in the UK, reigning UK champion Perri Shakes Drayton set a personal best of 51.26 in Bedford yesterday. Although Shakes Drayton looks set to contend her speciality 400m hurdles at the Aviva 2012 Trials it shows the one-lap event is in fine health.

"We have great talent in the 400m but I am confident that I can run well in the Aviva 2012 Trials which will be great preparation for this summer."

Christine Ohuruogu will be in action at the Aviva London Grand Prix on Saturday 14 July.

Back the team and watch over the world's best athletes in action at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 13-14 July.
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