Athletics: Mile specialists O’Hare and Gauson upbeat for 2012

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US-based Capital milers Chris O’Hare and Kris Gauson have entered 2012 with high hopes of further success after a tremendous double act in 2011.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that one or both of them could make the British team for the London Olympics in July. Gauson has already begun the new indoor season in style, breaking the stadium record for the 1000 metres with a time of 2mins 21.03 secs at Bloomington, Indiana, the home of Butler University, where he graduated last summer.

The Scottish 800m champion, who is now a full-time athlete, is currently training at altitude at Albuquerque in the US state of New Mexico with three other Brits – fellow Scot David Bishop, England’s Ross Millington and Sam Evans – and he intends to this week launch a bid to qualify for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March.

“I’ll be racing at Indianapolis on January 5 and then have a further three races in Bloomington on January 7, 21 and 28,” said Gauson, who will fly to the UK for the World Indoor Trials in Sheffield on February 11.

“My training’s been going fantastically well these last few weeks and I’m confident that I can post some personal bests during the indoor season then contend for a World Indoor spot in the 1500m,” said Gauson, who, now that he is no longer on an athletics scholarship, is looking for sponsorship, so far without success.

“I’ve enjoyed uninterrupted training since the World University Games last summer and I’m moving towards my goals of making the World Indoors and Olympic teams.”

O’Hare had a remarkable indoor season in the US last winter, finishing second in the National Collegiate Championship in 3:59.62 and setting an impressive time of 3:56.48 indoors at the Tyson Invitational, the second fastest ever by a Scot indoors. Based at Tulsa University in Arizona, where he has another year’s eligibility, O’Hare has been home in West Linton for Christmas and at the same time putting in some hard training sessions as he wants to build up his mileage.

“I want to keep my mileage higher as last year it dropped to around 60 miles a week after Christmas and when I got to the outdoors I felt I was sluggish and lacking strength.”

O’Hare even went out for a long one hour 50 minute run on Christmas Day but then suffered a slight calf strain so had to ease back. He intends to open his indoor season at the Kansas State Invitational at Manhattan, Kansas a week on Saturday and will then run an 800m at Oklahoma University the following week and possibly a 3000m at the Mayo Invitational before the end of this month.

His main focus will be the NCAA Championships in early March at Boise, Idaho for which he must qualify through the regional championships in Alabama. Because of his college commitments he will not be returning for the UK Indoor Championships next month, but he will be targeting the UK (outdoor) Championships and Olympic trials in Birmingham on June 23 and 24.

Those dates will already be etched in the minds of all serious athletes up and down the country.