By Liam Moakes 07/08 Updated: 07/08 14:00
ANDREW Pozzi was adamant heading into London 2012 that was he fit enough to compete, but he could not have been proved more wrong after pulling up injured in the 110m hurdles heats.
The 20-year-old's fitness was called into question at the Crystal Palace Grand Prix four weeks ago as he jumped just two hurdles in the final before trudging off the track holding his hamstring.
Former Alcester Grammar School student Pozzi - the national champion - forthrightly dispelled any concerns over the injury - insisting it would not hamper him one bit with the 110m hurdles set for the second week of London 2012.
However, he cleared just one hurdle this time before slamming down the second and third with his hands in disgust, yet he was gracious enough to admit he was not ready to take to the start line.
Speaking immediately after the race Pozzi said: "I'm yet to see the doctors so I will head in and see them. It went coming out of the blocks and it's the first time I have been full speed out the blocks since Crystal Palace when it happened.
"I thought I could manage it and get over hurdle two but it completely wiped out and that was me. It has been fluctuating. It has been hard to push on when it's needed a bit more recovery.
"We have been going very softly with it and it's been going really well, then it's flared up again and I thought I had a reasonable chance but seemingly not."
While Pozzi was unlikely to challenge for a medal in the Olympic Stadium - his personal best ran in the heats at Crystal Palace (13.34 seconds) ranks him outside the world's top 20 - he had every chance of enjoying a fine Games.
As he rightly points out, he made a mockery of the Olympic A standard set out by British selectors, first running it in the Olympic Stadium in May and then another 11 times.
Add to that an impressive fourth placed finish over 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships in March and Pozzi had every right to believe in himself ahead of his Olympic debut.
Pozzi's injury was part of a disastrous Tuesday morning in track and field for Britain as Goldie Sayers and Phillips Idowu, the latter somewhat unsurprisingly, pulling up injured in javelin and long jump qualification respectively.
China's 2004 Olympic 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang also crashed into the first hurdle, ending his own dreams, and Pozzi said: "I am so disappointed.
"I think I have run the A standard like 12 times. I've been fit for so many races and it was going so well and it has been all been centred around this. To come here and that to happen is heartbreaking."
Lloyds TSB is proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012.
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