Frankis not out to fall at first hurdle!

NEWHAM and Essex Beagle Gianni Frankis is refusing to set himself up for a fall in Berlin by making any bold predictions about his World Championship performances, writes TOM REYNOLDS. The 21-year-old 110m hurdler, will take his first tentative steps at a

NEWHAM and Essex Beagle Gianni Frankis is refusing to set himself up for a fall in Berlin by making any bold predictions about his World Championship performances, writes TOM REYNOLDS.

The 21-year-old 110m hurdler, will take his first tentative steps at a major championship next week after surprisingly forcing his way into Team GB's Berlin-bound squad.

Frankis caught the selectors' eye by running the B qualification standard while winning the silver medal at the recent European under-23 Championships in Lithuania.

He recorded a personal best time of 13.57 seconds in the process and is now looking forward to racing against the very best hurdlers in the world.


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"The stage I am at in my career I have got to treat every round as a final and so a personal best is really necessary for me," said Frankis. "I don't want to make any bold predictions though.

"Being my first major championship it is a big learning curve for me but these are the experiences that I need to be having.

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"A personal best would make it a successful championship for me.

"To run better than I ever have, I would be delighted with that and hope to progress through the rounds.

"I know in my head what my job is here to do, because getting to Berlin is what I have been thinking about from the start of the season and it is what I wanted to do.

"The coach will be putting his two pennies in to help me along, but really it is up to me when I step on that track to do the job.

"Half the battle has been won in terms of me getting picked, but really I have got a job to do here now.

"Getting on the plane was the first step and that was hard, but what's harder is then doing it at the championships again.

"I am not just happy to be here, but I realise that I have got a job to do in Berlin as well."

Meanwhile, long jumper Chris Tomlinson is refusing to set himself any targets in the coming weeks as he looks to avoid yet more disappointment at a major championship when he arrives in Berlin.

"I am feeling really good and really confident about the worlds, but I am not setting myself any targets - I just want to go there and have a good time," added Tomlinson. "I don't want to heap unnecessary pressure on myself."

British number one Mo Farah will also be in Germany as he goes for gold in the 5,000m, while Christine Ohuruogu will be looking to defend her 400m crown.

Pole vaulter Steve Lewis will be looking to scale new heights in Berlin, he said: "The plan this season was to start gently and gradually build up my height and it's starting to come together now."

Lewis warmed up for his event with a useful second place in an international event in Cottbus, Germany at the weekend, thanks to a leap of 5.60m.

Gianni Frankis is a GB&NI team athlete, benefiting from the Aviva funded UKA preparation camp ahead of the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Visit www. aviva.co.uk/athletics for more info

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