Tahri wants to clear all barriers to Rio

Tahri wants to clear all barriers to Rio
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France's Bouabdellah Tahri on his way to 3000m victory at the 2013 European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead.

He is one of France's finest distance runners and Bouabdellah 'Bob' Tahri has no desire to let age hinder his ambition.

Tahri has not competed in the steeplechase for more than three years but now, with his 36th birthday next month, he has decided to return to the event with an aim of winning the Olympic title in 2016.

Speaking with Republican Lorrain, Tahri said: "My goal is to win the Olympics in Rio - the only medal missing from my trophy."

His medal collection at the 3000m steeplechase is outstanding, with bronze at the European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg in 2006 and then silver in Barcelona in 2010, a year after he had finished third at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

But since then he has been concentrating outdoors on the 3000m and 5000m, with the first of those distances having already brought him silver medals at two European Athletics Indoor Championships, in Birmingham in 2007 and Turin in 2009.

His ability at the flat events was in full flow at the European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead in 2013 when he won the 3000m and finished second, behind Great Britain's Mo Farah, in the 5000m, but now he wants more glory over the barriers.

This summer, at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, he was sixth in the 5000m and seventh in the 10,000m, while the 3000m steeplechase has become quite an event for France.

His achievements have been followed by fellow Frenchman Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad who replaced him as European record holder when he ran 8:00.09 in 2013, beating Tahri's time of 8:01.18.

And then in Zurich this summer, when Mekhissi-Benabbad was disqualified after winning the 3000m steeplechase as he had removed his top on the home straight, gold still went to France as Yoann Kowal took the title.

But now Tahri is back on the scene, adding even more spice to the domestic competition on his road to Rio.