Olympics 400m hurdles: Dai Greene dad praises arrogance

Dai Greene is looking to add an Olympic gold medal to his other gold medals Dai Greene is looking to add an Olympic gold medal to his other gold medals

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The father of Great Britain athletics captain Dai Greene says his son's arrogance has served him well as he starts his bid to win Olympic gold.

Greene comfortably won his 400m hurdles heats on Friday to seal a place in Saturday's semi-final, with the final on Monday.

The world and Commonwealth champion from Llanelli has also held the European title.

When younger, he told his father he would be known as "Dai Greene's dad".

GREENE: ON THE TRACK I FEEL CALM AND CONTROL

"I try to not stick to much of a strict schedule or anything.

"I will have breakfast at a normal time, whenever I wake up. I don't get up especially early, especially as the finals are usually in the evenings.

"I try to relax during the day, watching TV, hanging out with my friends on the team, watching movies. Just trying to distract myself from the fact that I have the biggest race of my life a little bit later on.

"But once I'm on the track I feel an element of calm and control because I'm in a familiar surrounding, I'm doing a warm up that I have done hundreds of times before.

"I'm jumping over hurdles I have done lots of times before so I'm a lot more in control of my destiny then."

"I have every confidence our son will hurdle this last great ambition to seal a glorious career," said Steve Greene.

"Dai was only 14 when he turned and told me when an aspiring Swansea City soccer player that one day I would be known as Dai Greene's dad and not Steve Greene. He was right about that too.

"It is an arrogance that has served him well in a tough sport.

"As parents we are justly proud of all he has achieved, as are his brothers.

"The male part of the household is holding up quite well but Susan will be glad to see an end to all the pressures."

Greene, 26, joined Swansea City FC at the age of 13 and once scored a penalty against a Real Madrid youth side.

Growth spurt

However, he gave up on his dream to be a footballer in his late teens after contracting Osgood-Schlatter disease - a common problem that affects the knees - during a growth spurt.

But now, after turning to the track and winning gold at the world championships along with 2011 European championships and 2011 Commonwealth Games, he is aiming for Olympic gold.

"We are all going up as a family and will be at Dai's races on Friday, Saturday and, providing he stays free of injury and gets through to the final, on Monday," said Steve.

"The support at home in Llanelli has made Dai immensely proud.

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"I was able to listen in to his team talk in [the athletes' training camp] Portugal via the phone on Sunday night and found it exceptionally moving.

"He is certainly a motivator and so proud to be captain of the British athletics team.

"I know he will lead from the front and give of his very best.

"It will be good to see a little more of him after the Olympics. He has only been home once since Christmas because his training life is so hectic.

"He is texting quite often and wondering how everyone is holding up at home. That is typical of him. He says not to worry about him; [he's] just repeating, 'everything will be fine'.

"But our hearts are racing already and if there were gold medals for beats per minute we as a family would be in the running for them.

"Lastly as a family we want to thank everyone for their support. For a rugby town to come out in such force to show their colours for Dai in athletics is quite remarkable."

'Great thinker'

His hurdler son admitted there was a "thin line" between confidence and arrogance.

"I think my confidence comes from training. If I haven't trained very hard or haven't trained very well then I won't expect myself to win," Greene said.

"And if I don't expect myself to win then there's no chance I will win because it's an individual sport."

Steve Brace, who is the director of Welsh Athletics, said there were high expectations for Greene and fellow Welsh athletes Rhys Williams and Christian Malcolm.

"Dai's strength is not just his confidence but he's a good thinker and he's able to focus himself," he said.

"He's been to so many championships now it's bread and butter for him."

He added that 400m hurdler Williams had "matured" and that sprinter Malcolm "always digs deep for championships".

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