Olympics 2024: Josh Kerr ready to win 1500m gold in Paris

World 1500m champion Josh Kerr says he has been preparing for the Paris Games for 14 years and is “ready to be an Olympic champion” next summer.

The Briton won the world title in Budapest this summer after claiming bronze at the delayed Tokyo Olympics.

But the 26-year-old feels no added pressure to deliver Olympic gold.

“I’m not going to leave any stone unturned and if that gold medal isn’t mine, it’s because someone deserved it more than I did,” he told BBC Scotland.

“Nothing has changed for me internally since Budapest. I circled the 2024 Olympics since I started this sport – everyone says you peak in the 1500m about 26 or 28 and I thought ‘OK, Paris is that time, I think I can win that one’.

“I’ve known this for 13 or 14 years, so winning this year was just, ‘OK, we’re on the right path’. This is no different to me.

“This isn’t a pipe dream. It’s definitely possible. I feel no more internal pressure than I have my whole life.

“Externally, yes, it’s definitely allowed people to see me as a medal threat and a gold medal threat. That’s my job – to bring medals home.”

Kerr believes his experience of Tokyo in 2021 will stand him in good stead when it comes to the action on the track next summer.

The Scot insists “the external pressure doesn’t really mean that much to me” despite the spotlight falling on him more intensely since he stunned Norway’s Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Budapest.

“The internal pressure is there and that’s what I’m handling in terms of getting mentally prepared for how big an event the Olympics is – but I’ve been in an Olympic final,” he added.

“I know what it’s like. I know how much pressure it feels like. So, I know how to handle it and I’m good at handling that stuff. It’s my job.

“I’m just ready to be an Olympic champion and I just want to do myself justice – I want to perform.”

Josh Kerr
Kerr emulated his Edinburgh Athletics Club team-mate Jake Wightman, the 2022 world champion, in Budapest

Kerr believes Glasgow will “put on an amazing event, pack the stadium out and have an atmosphere like no other” when the city hosts the World Indoor Championships from 1 to 3 March next year.

However, he intends to repeat his narrow focus in 2023 – when he won only one 1500m race, the World Championship – with everything geared towards peaking in Paris next year.

“I’m not someone that likes to spread themselves thin with goals,” he added.

“There will be smaller objectives throughout the year but if I don’t get any of those, that’s completely fine. I only won one 1500m race this year – that’s all that mattered to me.”

The Edinburgh-born athlete is confident http://sukaati.com/ of glory in France next summer but knows he “can’t have an off day” if he is to add Olympic gold to his world success.

“This sport is pretty cut-throat,” he said. “I have to have five pretty perfect races – probably six if I’m counting running the qualifying standard – and that’s the beauty of our sport.

“I’ve figured out how to do that and got into four major finals, so I’m not particularly worried about it.

“I know what I’m doing and I think that’s where there’s a calmness to me.”

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