The Student Pocket Guide | Jack Green Interview
by Nathan Wadlow
Bath University student, Jack Green, is set to embark on his Olympic adventure this summer. Currently the UK’s number one in 400m hurdles in the under 20 age group, and ranked 5th in the World, Jack is one of our leading medal hopefuls going in to this year’s Games. We caught up with him to discuss how his preparations are going so far…
Hi Jack. When did you first get into athletics and your track events?
It all started at primary school and the district sports, I was always quicker than anyone else and I’ve been able to do well at both the sprints and endurance events, so having that essential mixture of speed and endurance works well for the 400m hurdles. The 400m hurdles is said to be the ‘Man Killer’ and it’s definitely an event that finds you, instead of choosing it. It takes a very strong character to be successful over the 400m hurdles.
How are you finding mixing your studies with your sport and Olympic ambitions?
Last year was a breakthrough year for me and probably the first time I have ever juggled studies and athletics successfully. It’s all about organisation really, but with an Olympic Games creeping round the corner it needs 100% of my focus, so I deferred my degree in October to go full time with my track and field career.
How big a role has your club had in your GB career?
My first club, Ashford AC, got me into athletics and fed the flame and kept me loving the sport, so I cannot thank them enough. I am now at Kent AC as they are in the top division in our national leagues; they are very supportive and don’t put any pressure on me to compete. When you become an elite athlete you rarely represent your club as your abroad on the European circuit, so it’s good to have an understanding club and group around you.
The Olympics are obviously just around the corner, how is your preparation going?
My preparation couldn’t be any better. I’m bigger, stronger and faster than last season already. I’ve been away to South Africa training and will be in Portugal just before I start racing in May to finely tune everything. I’m excited for what will be an amazing year for me, I have a good feeling about things.
How do you feel about the Olympics being in London?
A home Olympics is a once in a lifetime thing and many people will never experience that. We also have the World Championships in 2017 as well, so it’s great athletics stays in the spot light. The home crowd will really help us British athletes at the Olympics, there’s all the statistics that say football teams win more at home games, this is our home games and we plan on winning too.
What does it mean to you representing GB?
It’s what every sportsman dreams of and I’ve been lucky enough to have represented Great Britain at such a young age. It’s all very surreal at first but it becomes the norm and you don’t see it as representing GB. Saying that, at the London Olympics it will definitely mean a lot more.
What advice would you give to future Olympic hopefuls?
Be smart with your training, don’t do too much but don’t do too little, know when your body needs a break and when you really need to push yourself. Give yourself that opportunity of a long career so you can achieve everything you want to and make the right choices both on and off the track. I always believe in going with your gut instinct and it’s always served me well as it’s what you really want.