Sports News

Cuban hurdler Robles ready for 2011 after injuries

HAVANA (Reuters) - Olympic 110 meters hurdles champion Dayron Robles has recovered from the injuries that cut short his season and is back in training for next year, the Cuban said on Saturday.

Cuba's Dayron Robles runs to win the men's 110 metres hurdles competition at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at the Stade de la Pontaise in Lausanne July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The world record holder resumed workouts three weeks ago in Havana after nagging leg problems forced him to drop out of a European tour in July.

“The problems in the summer are behind me and I’m training hard, looking forward to next season, which will be very extensive,” the 23-year-old athlete told Reuters after a conditioning session in the sunny Cuban capital.

“I’m working at 100 percent. Right now, I don’t have any physical problems.”

His workouts include lots of stretching and repeatedly running up a 120-meter slope.

“The physical load is very strong,” he said.

The Cuban will be one of the main Latin American medal hopes at next year’s world championships in Daegu, South Korea, set for August 27 to September 4.

He is also focused on defending his crown at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico next October.

Robles said he would compete indoors starting early in 2011 and planned to run throughout the year.

His trainer, Santiago Antunez, said Robles would take part in five or six indoor meets and as many as 10 outdoor events but that care would be taken to avoid more leg problems.

Robles left the European tour in July after posting a season’s best time of 13.01 seconds, in Lausanne, Switzerland and just before what was to be a big showdown in Paris with American David Oliver. Antunez said at the time his hurdler had “tired legs.”

Oliver went on to win the meet, with the best time of the year, 12.89 seconds.

“Oliver’s results haven’t surprised me. He had a very good season and hoped to break the world record,” said Robles, who set the record of 12.87 seconds in 2008.

“He really competed well, but the problems kept me from competing against him.”

Beyond next season, the 2012 London Olympics loom, so much of Robles’ preparation is being done with that in mind, said Antunez.

“This is the third year of the Olympic cycle and the work is extremely important and very intense,” he said.

Editing by Jeff Franks and Sonia Oxley