A place on the Rio 4x100m podium is the main aim, but the European junior champion says there is no reason why the GB team can’t compete for the title
Ojie Edoburun believes there is no reason why the GB men’s 4x100m relay squad shouldn’t be gunning for gold in Rio later this year.
Edoburun graduated in November from the British Athletics Futures Programme to World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) elite funding after a summer in which the 19-year-old sprinter was crowned the European junior champion over the 100m.
The British men’s team has suffered disappointments in major championships in the past few years, with the most recent being at the World Championships in Beijing last year where a mix-up on the final handover put paid to their strong chances of winning a medal.
With a weakened team fielded at the World Relays in the Bahamas last year, the GB men’s team also failed to secure automatic qualification for Rio, though Edoburun is calm over the prospect of the team having to qualify late.
In terms of individual times the GB team is unlikely to be able to match up man-for-man to the strongest Jamaican and American teams, but there remains great deal of depth to choose from.
While a place on the podium will be the main aim, Edoburun believes anything is possible if the selected team pulls out a performance on the day.
“I think the main goal is get on the podium,” said the Shaftesbury Barnet sprinter. “What colour that is, I reckon we’ll get more of a realistic indicator throughout the season but I think with the talent that we have there’s no reason why we can’t compete for gold.
“Relays are a very, very tricky event so it’s literally a matter of what happens on the day. If we have all our cards right there’s no reason why we can’t be at the top of the podium.”
Having recently returned from a relay training camp in Tenerife, Edoburun has had the opportunity for the first time to mingle with those who will be both competitors and team-mates in 2016.
All with 100m PBs ranging from the 9.9s to 10.1s, Edoburun joins a list of sprinters including Adam Gemili, James Dasaolu, CJ Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, Danny Talbot, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and James Ellington who each have individual and collective designs of their own as they map out various routes to Rio.
Most of the individual competition during the camp took place over games of FIFA, but during training there was only one purpose.
“The week was focused purely on just the relay,” Edoburun said. “In an individual sport everybody wants to do well for themselves primarily but with the relay a lot of guys know how to distinguish the two. So when we came together it was just purely about making sure that we were doing our best and being our best for the relay.”
Edoburun enjoyed himself briefly among the seniors last year, finishing third in the 100m at the British Championships, but the youngster is still undergoing adaptations.
A change of approach at the Anniversary Games in July didn’t result in the kind of performance Edoburun would have wanted to produce for his first time in the Olympic Stadium, and it’s these types of competition which he is still having to get used to.
“Obviously it’s different from the juniors. Being the fastest in the juniors you worry about competition but you’re not worried too much like you are in the senior races,” Edoburun continued.
“Now I’m in the senior ranks and the youngest by quite a bit in the set-up I’m just trying to impress and show my skills.”
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