European Athletics Championships: Lee Merrien surprised at Great Britain call-up

Lee Merrien
Lee Merrien finished in 30th place at the 2012 Olympics in London

Lee Merrien has admitted he was not expecting to be called up by Great Britain for next month's European Championships in the Netherlands.

He was left out of the original squad but has been picked as an injury replacementexternal-link for the half-marathon.

"Having had the ups and downs that I've had in the last few years, I'm elated really," he told BBC Radio Guernsey.

"Fortunately there's been some change in the teams which meant there was some availability, and I was picked."

Guernsey runner Merrien, 37, accepted that his Olympic career is over after failing to run the Rio 2016 qualification time at April's London Marathon.

The Europeans will be his first major championships since London 2012 because of time out injured with a stress fracture in his back.

Asked if an impressive time would make him rethink his Olympic retirement, Merrien said: "No, in a word.

"You're putting in a lot of effort, resources and time away from home and I don't want to do that to my family any more.

"I want to be able to go there (Netherlands) and do myself justice - between now and the event I'll decide what's a good goal to aim for as a target."

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