By Tadhg Peavoy
Steven Colvert came within a whisker of qualifying for the 200m at London 2012.
Colvert won the 200m national title in Santry two weeks ago, and made the Olympic A standard with a time of 20.40 seconds in the 200m heats, well inside the 20.55 standard.
However, as the wind measured +3m/s in Morton Stadium, Santry, Colvert’s time does not count towards qualification.
He clocked that time on Saturday 7 July, the last day of qualification, meaning that time had run out out on the 21-year-old's Olympic dream.
“To be honest, I’m now gutted. It really hit hard that I’d been so close, yet so far. On the actual day I was so focused on the last-chance saloon. I’d been in scenarios like that before to qualify for competitions, so I was full well sure I would be able to do it,” said Colvert.
“Looking across at the 20.40 [on the clock] I thought job done; the hard work has paid off. The wind made it redundant. It’s absolutely gutting.”
Colvert also feels that two other recent races in Slovenia and Sweden were races were he could have clocked that elusive A standard time.
“The goal was to make the time as soon as possible. I never really expected it to come down to the wire. I had two runs within two days of each other. I ran 20.57 in Slovenia. And then I went up to Sweden the next day and I ran 20.59. Both of those times, looking back at the races, were races where the A standard could have been obtained,” said the Crusaders AC athlete.
“Through me either losing focus or body position I missed out on the A standard. It’s heartbreaking.”
However, Colvert wants to keep his season on track and focus firmly on the future.
“I’m going to continue racing and see the season out. The Games are the showcase, but there’s definitely other things out there, and I’m just going to bounce back and race. For instance I raced last night in Cork and I ran a 20.68 through a -2.5m/s, which pretty much backs up the 20.40 I ran in Santry,” he said.
“It shows that 20.40 is in my legs if conditions are right. I’m going to continue racing in Ireland and abroad. Basically the next few months is finish out the season, then take a month off, and then get back to winter training for the World Championships and the World University Games next year."
The Mullingar athlete has also backed his training partner Paul Hession, and 100m hurdler Derval O'Rourke, to be successes for Team Ireland on the track in Statford, east London.
He said: “[I would back] Paul Hession. Just last night he’s come really back into form. He ran 20.54 in Lucerne. He’s coming into form ten days out from the Games. That’s all part of the training process and Paul has it down to a fine art.
“Derval O’Rourke possibly hasn’t had the best season. But Derval is a real championship performer. You might underestimate her or right her off, but when she gets into championship mode she’s in a class of her own.”
Steven Colvert was in conversation with Tadhg Peavoy on 18 July 2012.