Tyneside runner chasing Olympic glory

A Tyneside runner has overcome a two-year injury nightmare to qualify for this summer's London Olympics.

Ross Murray, from Wallsend, suffered a broken femur and achilles tendonitis between 2009 and 2011. The injuries were so bad, he almost quit athletics altogether to become a nightclub rep in Greece.

Over time, the 21-year-old gradually recovered, and he qualified for the Men's 1,500 metre event in Birmingham on Saturday.

Ross, now a student at St Mary's University College in London, said: "I had a stress fracture in my femur, which is basically like a crack in the leg, and I had achilles tendonitis and I had lots of other things on top of that.

"I got a bit disillusioned with the sport for a while. Just so many disappointments, and this time last year I was ready to quit and pack it all in.

"But luckily I stuck at it, and then a year later I'm going to the Olympics. It's a massive shock. Even now. That's probably why it hasn't even sank in."

Ross (second right) started running aged ten Credit: ITV

Ross started running as a ten-year-old around his local park in Wallsend, and joined nearby running club, the Wallsend Harriers. His fellow runners said Ross stood out even from an early age.

Lee Morgan, a coach at Wallsend Harriers, said: "Well I actually remember him as a ten-year-old. My dad used to coach him, and we knew then he had incredible talent.

"I think it's about time he showed his promise, and he's had a fantastic year so we're all going to be behind him for London."

Having seen Ross' battle such long-term injuries, his family are delighted that he'll be representing Team GB in London. His mother, Bev Gosling said: "I could fill up. I felt really proud of him. I know I'm his mam, but I've always said I think he's great.

"I actually feel like a celebrity and I'm not. I've done nothing. It's all through him. So I'm loving it actually."

Ross will compete in Round One of the Men's 1,500m event on August 3.