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Gianni hoping to seal spot at European Indoor champs
12:19pm Friday 15th February 2013 in Sport
ATHLETICS: GIANNI Frankis is out to make sure of his place in Great Britain’s squad for the forthcoming European Indoor Championships when he races in Birmingham tomorrow.
The Pitsea-based sprint hurdler won the UK Championships, which doubled up as the European trials in Sheffield last Saturday. But he has yet to run under the qualifying time of 7.65 seconds.
And Saturday will be his last chance to break under that barrier. “This will be my last race before the deadline for qualifying times closes so I know I have to run well if I’m to make the squad for the Europeans,” said Frankis, whose fastest time is 7.67 seconds so far this season.
“It’s as much about the mental side of things than anything else but I’m in good enough shape to run the time and hopefully I’ll do it.” Frankis will line up in the heats at 2.22pm and will be bidding to make the final which will be run at 4.04pm, live on BBC. And he will enter his blocks full of confidence after winning what felt like his first ever national title last weekend. “I had come second four times before and was also given the gold once after the winner on the day, Callum Priestley, failed a drugs test and was disqualified but this felt like my first real title,” said Frankis. “It was obviously a nice feeling to have won, but I was a bit disappointed with my time of 7.73 seconds because I wanted to go faster.”
But those hopes of a quicker time were hit when pre-race favourite Andrew Pozzi withdrew from the race with a slight injury. Pozzi had earlier run 7.62 seconds when winning his heat and Frankis feels that if he had also lined up the final then it would have been a far faster race.
“With someone as talented as Andy in the race I’m sure things would have been a lot different,” said Frankis. “We would have pushed each other on and that would certainly have helped with the time. “However, there are some very good hurdlers due to compete on Saturday so hopefully that will also ensure a fast race.”