Rob Tobin desperate to prove he can cut it for London 2012
Rob Tobin is only too aware he faces a race against time to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, admitting he's desperate to shed his tag of relay specialist.
The 28-year-old clocked his fastest time of the year in Geneva on Saturday, winning the B final in 45.47 seconds, but he's still to duck under the A standard for London 2012.
While Lincoln-born Tobin is still chasing that landmark, Martyn Rooney, Luke Lennon-Ford and Conrad Williams have all achieved it, giving them a sizeable advantage ahead of the Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham later this month.
Tobin may have to make do with a spot in the 4x400m relay – no slap in the face with the GB quartet set to contend the medals – having been part of the foursome that finished fourth at Beijing 2008 as well as the team that won world silver in 2009 and European silver in 2010.
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But Tobin is determined to secure his shot at individual glory at London, as well as a relay berth.
"It is frustrating that I didn't quite make the qualifying time in Geneva, it would be nice to get it out of the way and then solely focus on my performance at the trials," he said.
"But my fastest times this year are coming down by a big margin every time I race so I believe it is coming, I just can't afford to lose too much ground on my rivals.
"There is a lot of competition for places and that does bode well for the relay, I think we will have a very strong relay team, but I do want to get an individual spot. I've done the individual at some major events before, but it's in the relays where my medals have come.
"At the start of the season I was finding that I just wasn't going out quick enough, but I'm beginning to get that part of the race right now and so it's about building up the strength to be able to keep going to the line."
As well as Rooney, Lennon-Ford and Williams, Tobin also has the likes of Richard Buck, Nigel Levine and Michael Bingham to contend with at the Olympic trials – set to be the most competitive for 20 years.
And, while the results at the Alexander Stadium could leave UKA head coach Charles van Commenee with some difficult decisions to make, he admits he would not have it any other way.
"I am looking forward to the Aviva 2012 Trials," said van Commenee. "There is a depth in the sport that we have not seen for 20 years and we have a number of events where five or six athletes are competing for three places.
"It doesn't take a genius to work out the maths and athletes will need to be at the very top of their game at the Olympic Trials if they want to make the team for London 2012."
Back the team and watch over 750 British best athletes at the Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham from 22-24 June. For tickets visit www.uka.org.uk/aviva-series or call 08000 55 60 56. #backtheteam