Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Feeling No Pressure; ATHLETICS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Feeling No Pressure; ATHLETICS

Article excerpt

WALLSEND'S Ross Murray breezed through his Olympic 1500m debut last night - then warned his London rivals he will be racing pressure free in the semi-finals.

After a stunning breakthrough in 2012, Gateshead Harrier Murray is not only making his Olympic debut in London but is also pulling on the senior GB vest for the first time.

However, while the record books may list him as a rookie, Murray showed he is anything but in the pressure cauldron which was the Olympic Stadium - clocking 3.36.74 minutes on his way to fourth in his heat.

With the top six qualifying for tomorrow's semi-final, that run guaranteed him a second taste of the Olympic limelight.

While the first to admit repeating the trick in the semi-final will be a taller order ,Murray hinted he will relish the underdog tag.

He said: "I didn't want to be that guy who goes out in the heats, especially when you have got everybody back home watching you.

"I raced well. I took the gaps when I saw them and I couldn't be happier.

"It was a brisk race but it was so choppy as well. I was getting clips and scratches on my legs.

"I am a wounded little soldier at the minute but it is all part of the fun.

"You have to give it back, though, as well. You can't get disqualified for giving someone a black eye."

Murray added: "The pressure is off for me now. It is my first Games and my first senior GB vest.

"I only really got back running properly in January. I still had an expectation on myself that I did not want to go out in the heat and had I done that I would have been disappointed with myself.

"I have qualified through to the semifinal and if I don't make it through to the final I will not be disappointed.

"At the same time, if I can make that final it will be unbelievable so I am going to be giving it everything.

Murray looked to be struggling when he took the bell with 400m to go with rivals waiting to pounce, but he came back strong in the final 200m to comfortably make the final.

That late surge gave the 21-year-old yet more belief ahead of the biggest race of his life tomorrow night. …

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