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Baulch: Greene can top greats of British track; Ace has more self-belief than Christie or Jackson.

Byline: CHARLIE TALBOT-SMITH

WORLD Championship gold medallist Jamie Baulch insists 400m hurdler Dai Greene will become a bigger name post-London 2012 than British legends Linford Christie, Darren Campbell and Colin Jackson.

Baulch, who manages the Swansea-based hurdler, insists Greene's self-belief alone puts him in pole position to land gold at next year's Olympic Games.

Greene has experienced a breakthrough 12 months in his career, landing World Championship gold in the summer to add to his gongs he landed at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2010.

And with the opportunity to forever etch his name into British athletics' history books by landing a home track gold medal, Baulch is backing his fellow Welshman to hog the headlines at London 2012.

Jamie Baulch "What Dai has done over the last 12 months is absolutely phenomenal but in no way does it surprise me," said Baulch, the former world indoor 400m champion and a member of the 1997 World Championship-winning 4x400m relay team. "I picked him up about two years ago (as manager) because it was clear to see what he had even back then at the last worlds.

"Dai's the one to beat now but he loves that, he can't wait to go out there and be the top dog that everyone is aiming for.

"He doesn't feel the pressure of it so much because he loves to compete; he wants to be out there with the chance to bring home Olympic gold.

"And next year the gold is his for the taking, of course athletics is athletics and on the day anything can happen but as talent and consistency goes he's the best out there.

"I've trained with some of the best in the business - Linford Christie, Frankie Fredericks, Darren Campbell, Colin Jackson - and I've never met anyone who matches Dai in terms of that self-belief, not even close.

"He knows that he has done everything he can do going into each race, his coach Malcolm Arnold and Dai are both so meticulous in their approach to everything that he knows on the start-line that he could not be in better shape.

"He's almost like a machine in the way he approaches race and he knows what he can do, although he did admit to me that he had a moment in the final in Daegu where he thought he might have left it a touch late!" Greene has now joined a handful of British athletes, which includes the likes of Jess Ennis, being tipped to medal at London 2012.

After seeing Greene claim the top step on the podium at the last three major championships - Baulch is backing his fellow countryman to repeat the trick in London.

"You know every time he steps on the track he will deliver and that will hopefully be enough for us," added Baulch, the official race starter of the Cardiff Half Marathon.

"But Dai has such staggering self belief, it's something that you can't really teach or train for but it just makes such a massive difference.

"That unwavering belief on the start line that you are going to win the race and Dai, in his laidback way, has got exactly that. I went out for a coffee with Dai the night before his final in Korea and I was more nervous than he was. He couldn't have been more relaxed - it was almost as if it was nothing to him."

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Jamie Baulch Dai Greene after his World Champs win
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 19, 2011
Words:616
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