SOLIHULL sprint-hurdler Nathan Woodward has been told he must break the 50-second barrier this summer if he wants to be taken seriously on the international circuit.
Woodward exploded onto the international scene last year after finishing seventh in the 400m hurdles final in Berlin before powering Great Britain into the 4x400m final where they claimed silver.
Former Coleshill School pupil Woodward, aged 20, lowered his lifetime best to 50.06 seconds en-route to finishing first at the European Clubs Senior Championships in Portugal last month.
But World Champion silver medallist Dai Greene - who cemented his status as the fastest 400m hurdler in Europe by running 48.96 seconds this year - has told him not to rest on his laurels.
“I think we have been giving too much credit to average times for far too long and really we need to say to people sub 50 seconds is the bare minimum we expect,” said Greene, who was speaking on behalf of the Aviva Elevating Athletics Fund.
“Nathan has been coming along but he has to push through that 50 second mark now if he wants to be a challenger. If I was Nathan, I would be looking at me and thinking if he can run 48 seconds then so can I because these are the times he needs to be looking at.”
Woodward is yet to taste defeat outdoors this season after leading the field home in a flat 400m in Pavia, Italy and over the hurdles at the Loughborough International.
The Aviva Elevating Athletics Fund provides free training and support to every single teacher in the UK. To find out more visit aviva.co.uk/athletics .