YARDLEY’s Jordan McGrath admits his hopes of winning the European Junior Championship have been left hanging by a thread following his torn hamstring at the McCain Loughborough International.
The 400m runner – who represents Birchfield Harriers - was tipped as one of Britain’s strongest medal contenders at the event in Serbia but the 19-year-old now faces a race against time to regain full fitness.
McGrath, who was this week reselected by UK Athletics to join their Original Source-funded Heroes project, also had eyes on being included in the relay squad for the World Championships and he maintains the injury could not have struck at a worse time.
“I felt in great shape but to tear my hamstring was awful,” he said. “The medical staff have said I will be out for another four weeks and that doesn’t leave me long before the championships.
“It’s already feeling better but I’ve got to be careful as hamstrings can be very tricky to manage and I don’t want to do any severe damage.
“2012 is creeping up all of the time and these big events are all important so hopefully I will be fully fit and ready to go for a medal.”
McGrath did receive a boost this week after he was announced as one of 15 athletes unveiled at the Bedford international Games on Sunday that would be joining the Heroes Project after being handpicked by UKA’s Performance team.
The former Lyndon School pupil won the pilot scheme in 2008 and will once again receive two £500 bursaries towards kit, travel expenses, medical support and equipment during the summer, while one of the 15 newly-appointed Heroes will bank a further £1,000 should they be selected as the winning Hero by UKA.
UKA Heroes project sponsored by Original Source is a successful initiative which offers financial support to talented young athletes who are working towards the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.