Okoro erases her bad memories of Birmingham
PUBLISHED: 17:07 29 August 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Marilyn Okoro says she has nothing to prove to UK Athletics chief Charles van Commenee after her controversial Olympic snub.
The 800m specialist from Neasden returned to Birmingham on Sunday – the scene of the pre-Olympic disaster that saw her dream London 2012 ticket slip right out of her hands.
Despite achieving the A standard time on six occasions in the last year, the British number one was controversially overlooked by van Commenee and his fellow selectors after her catastrophic UK Championships fifth place run in June.
However, Okoro was back at Alexander Stadium for Sunday’s Aviva Grand Prix and gained her revenge over third-ranked Lynsey Sharp, who was picked for Team GB at the Games in her place.
The 27-year-old took third place, clocking two minutes 1.96 seconds behind Russia’s recently crowned Olympic champion Mariya Savinova (2:00.40) and Beijing 2008 winner Pamela Jelimo of Kenya (2:01.43) – while Sharp finished fifth.
“I just wanted to show that I can run with these girls,” said Okoro. “I’ve had so much criticism about my tactics so I just got evenly prepared.
“It was hard work for me but I was happy to hold on to third behind the reigning Olympic champion and former Olympic champion.
“I think CVC (van Commenee) had a lot to think about lately, so I let him keep thinking! The time didn’t really matter – it was just the performance, which was good. I felt strong out there so I can’t complain.
“I’ve just got a couple of races left but I just want to build on a strong finish and on to next year.”