400m champ fit to run

BERLIN - Christine Ohuruogu said yesterday she is ready for another major 400m title even though she was battling fitness problems ahead of the world championships.

BERLIN - Christine Ohuruogu said yesterday she is ready for another major 400m title even though she was battling fitness problems ahead of the world championships.

The 25-year-old Briton is unbeaten in a major final as she won the 2007 world title, Olympic gold in 2008 and the Commonwealth Games gold in 2006. Not without controversy, Ohuruogu was hampered by a hamstring problem in the build-up to the Berlin championships that start tomorrow.

Ranked a mere 25th in the world this year with 51,14 sec, far away from the season-leading 49,23 set by American rival Sanya Richards, Ohuruogu is nonetheless upbeat as she has also overcome difficulties in the past when it mattered.

Ohuruogu came to the 2007 worlds in Osaka off a ban for missed doping tests and then had a life ban overturned for the doping-related issue to make the British Olympic team.

"It has been a difficult journey, as it has always been. The timing of the injury wasn't ideal. But it is fine now and I have come here to do a job," she told a news conference in downtown Berlin.

"I am fit, happy and healthy. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't fit."

She said it was "comical" that some people don't believe her. Ohuruogu said past events have made her a stronger person and athlete.

"Winning a championship doesn't make it (the next big event) simpler, but it gives me confidence to go through the rounds," she said.

While Ohuruogu is at her best at big events, Richards has had trouble when it mattered even though she is the faster runner. Richards failed to qualify for the 2007 worlds and then faded dramatically on the home stretch of the Olympic final to finish third. - Sapa-DPA

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