Hurdler Flannery wants more

Niall Flannery got a VIP taste of the London 2012 Olympics earlier this month and he’s vowed to use it as a springboard to experiencing a home crowd first-hand in the years to come.

As part of his involvement with the Spar Sprints Stars scheme Flannery was at the Olympic Stadium to witness the likes of six-time gold medallist Usain Bolt in action at London 2012.

For the 21-year-old 400m hurdler the moment only served to strengthen his desire to make the leap from promising junior to established senior as quickly as possible.

And, with the 2017 World Championships to be held in London’s Olympic Stadium, Flannery is hoping the spectator at London 2012 become the champion of tomorrow.

“It was really good having a look around the Olympic Stadium. I was in the Olympic Park for the ridiculous night of three golds and that was a great experience,” said Flannery.

“It makes me want to go to the next Games in Rio and see what I can do, so the next four years will be my main focus.

“I want to experience that and what it is like to perform in front of a crowd like that – I want a piece of that action.

“Having 80,000 people cheering for me would be ridiculous but at the end of the day we are performers and that is what we do.

“I don’t really see it as pressure I see it as an atmosphere that could push me and spur me on. I want to get to an opportunity.

“And although the Olympics won’t be in this country again in my sporting career there are the 2017 World Championships to look forward to.

“Hopefully with that being a worlds and not an Olympics the crowd will be even better because it will be specialised athletics fans. It could be quite unreal with it being on the same track as London 2012.”

Before he can dream of senior glory however, Flannery admits he has some unfinished business at the European Under-23 Championships next summer.

He reached the final of 400m hurdles at the 2011 edition in Ostrava but finished eighth as fellow Brits Jack Green and Nathan Woodward took gold and silver respectively.

He added: “The European Under-23s, that is the next stepping stone for me. I went last year and got to the final but didn’t do myself justice so I want to right a few wrongs and see if I can get a medal.

“It will be tough because guys like Jack are still under-23s so if he still wants to go then he will so there are some top guys but I want to be in the mix and be running the same times as them.”