European Championships: Christine Ohuruogu regrets break

Christine Ohuruogu
Christine Ohuruogu won bronze for England in the Commonwealth Games 4x400m women's relay in Glasgow
2014 European Athletics Championships
Dates: 12-17 August. Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Coverage: On BBC Two from 09:00 BST on 12 August; daily coverage, reports and interviews on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Christine Ohuruogu says she regrets her decision to take a year off following her 2013 World Championships 400m win.

Ohuruogu, 30, intended to scale back her commitments this season before returning to competition ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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Ohuruogu wins gold in 400m thriller

But the 2008 Olympic gold medallist has confirmed she will compete at the European Championships, from Tuesday.

"I am not at that level where I can afford to squander a year and take a break like that," she told BBC Sport.

Ohuruogu was part of the England team that took bronze in the Commonwealth Games 4x400m women's relay in Glasgow.

She intends to use the European Championships - which take place from 12-17 August in Zurich - as an opportunity to build up her fitness in the women's 400m.

"The Europeans give me a chance to step up my performance, otherwise I would just be ticking along, and that would not be helpful for my progression in the 400m," she said.

Meanwhile Lynsey Sharp, fresh from her silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, will be defending her European 800m title.

She was upgraded to gold after Russian Yelena Arzhakova failed a doping test in 2012, and said she wanted to enjoy a lap of honour that she was denied two years ago.

British medal hopes at European Championships
Mo Farah in the 5,000 and 10,000m - although the double Olympic champion has struggled with injury and revealed he collapsed before Glasgow 2014
Adam Gemili in the 200m in Zurich - Gemili won Commonwealth Games 100m silver
Eilidh Child in the 400m hurdles - the Commonwealth Games silver medallist is the top-ranked European in her event this season
Jo Pavey turns 41 next month but the Commonwealth bronze medallist has the third-fastest 5,000m time in Europe this season
Greg Rutherford - the Olympic and Commonwealth champion is looking to improve on his 2006 European long jump silver in Gothenburg
Lynsey Sharp in the 800m - she recovered from injury and illness to take silver at Glasgow 2014

The 24-year-old Scot added: "I think there'll always be question marks over certain countries, which is a shame, but there's a lot of people who've been done in the last two years which shows massive improvements. I think we're definitely making inroads."

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British stars ready for Euros

British Athletics performance director Neil Black said he was "optimistic" and "expects" gold medals to be won by GB athletes in Zurich - but stopped short of setting a medal target.

He told told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think medal targets are actually limiting. I think they distract people and we start to focus on the numbers as opposed to just getting out and maximising the performance."

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