DCU student Olympic qualification almost a reality

For one DCU student Olympic qualification is almost a reality.
Just six tenths of a second off the 400m A standard, Brian
Gregan spoke to Brendan White about chasing that elusive time.


A whirlwind 12 months has pushed Brian Gregan to the brink of Olympic qualification, but the DCU athlete still needs a little more to get over the line. Fifth in the World Student Games last summer and a second place finish in the European Under-23 Championships leaves Gregan in a positive frame of mind as he sets about the task of attaining qualification.

“Last year was brilliant for me, finishing fifth at the World Student Games and I was just a blink of an eye away from a medal,” Gregan said. “Preparation has been going well and I have wintered very well. I still have a couple of months to get the (Olympic qualification) time. I’ve just got to get the head down and train hard. I’m also heading to Los Angeles in April to continue my training.”

Gregan was part of the DCU team that took part in the Millrose games in New York recently. The world famous distance relay event took place in The Armory this year, widely regarded as one of the premier indoor track and field venues in the world.

It was the first time the University have been invited to the competition that pits some of the best colleges in America against each other, but Gregan remained a little disappointed despite an impressive second place finish.

“We were the first Irish college to be invited over to the games, it really was a big thing,” Gregan said. “It was a great opportunity for us as athletes. We were staying in the same hotel as some of the best athletes around. We were a little disappointed, we would have liked to have won but it was a great experience for us all.”

Gregan has a busy few months ahead. Olympic qualification, a thesis, America and the little matter of the European Championships in Helsinki are all in the very near future.

“I’m a fourth year Sports Science student so I’ve still got my thesis to do, but the plan is to train hard. I plan on going to America in April for a month to train hard there and hopefully take part in a couple of races too.”

With the London Olympics just five months away, Gregan’s mind is set on one thing. “After my thesis, I’m going to go to Helsinki to the European Championships. I’m hoping to get the Olympic time in Helsinki if I haven’t already got it at that stage.”

Gregan has a rigorous training schedule but was quick to acknowledge the part that DCU play is his preparation. The guidance of the Athletics Academy has played an important role in his development.

“I train twice a day, six days a week. I do weights two or three times a week. I run, I’m on the bike or in the pool; I’m using all different techniques.

“DCU have been brilliant to me and have been very accommodating. I was on INTRA last year and they made it very flexible so I could still compete in events around the world. They have allowed me to travel abroad for different races too. Enda Fitzpatrick, Niall Moyna and all at DCU have been brilliant to me. Athletics in DCU is going very well at the moment.”

Gregan’s PB of 45.96 is someway off the required 45.30. The B standard however, is set at 45.90, well within Gregan’s capabilities, but it remains to be seen whether or not the AAI will be sending athletes with the B standard to London.

In any event, it is evident that the trajectory of Brian Gregan’s athletics career is heading in only one direction.

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