Tahri back on track and targeting Göteborg medal | 17.10.2012
|French middle-distance runner Bob Tahri.
The Frenchman had an operation on his tibia at the end of the 2011 season and, shortly after his return to training in April, he had suffered from inflammation in the pelvic region which made it painful for him to hurdle.
However, he returned to competition in Paris on October 7 and won a 10km race to show he was on the road to recovery.
The time was modest by his own high standards, 30:24, but Tahri was still smiling after only deciding to run three days beforehand.
"I wanted to do a race again, again look at the start and finish lines, put a number on my chest, to feel again the excitement of a start. After more than a year without international competition, I needed that, to restart the process and unclog the machine. My actual finish time was irrelevant," commented Tahri, in an interview with his regional daily newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain.
"My goal now is the indoor season. It would be nice to get in good shape for the meeting of Metz (24 February) and then go to the European Indoor Championships in Göteborg," he added.
The 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships will be held in the Swedish city between 1-3 March and Tahri would run over 3000m, where potentially he could come up against Great Britain's defending champion and two-time European Athlete of the Year Mo Farah.
"I've been training now for two-and-a-half months and my feelings are very good. It makes me feel good (winning the race in Paris) show everyone that my legs still work and they work well. I will soon start to run fast."
Tahri has been winning medals ever since he took the 5000m gold medal at the 1997 European Athletics Junior Championships.
Best known for his exploits over the barriers, he won the 2006 European Athletics Championships 3000m steeplechase bronze medal and then took silver on the continental stage four years later in Barcelona.
He also won 3000m silver medals, with no obstacles to negotiate, at the 2007 and 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Now 33, he has also recently been appointed a UNICEF ambassador for eastern France.
"I had been thinking over what I saw in Kenya, Ethiopia (on training trips there) but I also saw kids in France do not have the best conditions. As a professional athlete, we have rights and duties, and I told myself that if I could would help, then I would, it's something that is dear to my heart," said Tahri.