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O'Hare steps back after striding ahead

Chris O'Hare is preparing for a rebuilding job in the wake of his ­brilliant bronze medal-winning run on the closing day of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich on Sunday.

Chris O'Hare has become the first Scottish man to win a European 1500m medal. Picture: PA
Chris O'Hare has become the first Scottish man to win a European 1500m medal. Picture: PA

The 23-year-old Borderer became the first British man to win a European outdoor metric mile medal for 28 years when he battled up the home straight to claim third place in the 1500m final. That, though, will be the last sight of him on a track in 2014.

"Next year. That's it for me now," said O'Hare when asked when his next race would be. "Mentally, I've just been drained for the last couple of weeks and my hamstring problem has been killing me. I need to take time off and let coach [Terrence] Mahon tear me down and build me up from scratch. Next year I'll be a hell of a lot better."

It is an exciting prospect for British athletics. O'Hare has become Scotland's first European men's 1500m medallist and Britain's first since 1986, despite suffering from a long-term hamstring problem which has worsened as the season has progressed.

After taking a well-earned break, O'Hare will relocate to New England to join the Boston Athletic Association high performance group coached by Mahon, the American distance running guru who guided Deena Kastor to Olympic marathon bronze in 2004 and who previously spent a year as head endurance coach with UK Athletics. "Coach Mahon is really on the ball; I'm excited for next year," said O'Hare.

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