Dai Greene: Former PE teacher at 400m hurdles final
Published: 6th Aug 2012 07:27:10
The PE teacher who made Dai Greene "reluctantly" hurdle at 11 will be at the Olympic 400m hurdles final later on Monday to cheer on his former pupil.
Retired Mike Walters was shocked to learn the tickets he was offered for London 2012 were for Greene's event.
He taught Greene - who originally had his sights set on being a footballer - at Coedcae School, Llanelli.
Mr Walters has had a Welsh dragon flag made to cheer on Greene, the Team GB athletics captain.
I am grateful for my small part in this great man's success”
"Amazingly some months ago some American friends I met on my travels called me up at my Scotland home and offered me a ticket for the Games," he said.
"I asked what event and when they told me the 400m hurdle final I nearly fell over in shock."
He added: "I can hardly believe I will be there to see the culmination of all Dai's hard work after all these years."
Greene is currently world and Commonwealth champion and has also held the European title.
Mr Walters has arranged to meet Greene's family after the event to celebrate what he is convinced will be a gold medal for the athlete.
"I have never met anyone more single-minded than Dai. He is so focused and is building up to this final perfectly after his knee surgery," he added.
"As a teenager he was set on becoming a Swansea City footballer and showed early great promise.
"But we had two soccer players in the school and they were both flyers but Dai was slightly slower so he could never make the right wing berth his own.
"As a result he learned to kick with his left foot to adapt to the left wing slot and scored a famous penalty for the Swansea youth [against Real Madrid] in European competition."
Mr Walters said Greene's work on his left foot "gave him a now natural technique to hurdle at a breakneck pace".
"The rest is history and I am grateful for my small part in this great man's success," he added.
He wants to see Greene's "first hurdle gold-plated and installed as some kind of art work in the remodelled Llanelli".
He added: "He is the greatest sportsman to come out of Llanelli and that is saying something for a rugby hotbed."
The men's 400m hurdles final is due to be run at 20:45 BST on Monday.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Dai Greene: Former PE teacher at 400m hurdles final. [Online] (Updated 06 Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1444651-Dai-Greene-Former-PE-teacher-at-400m-hurdles-final [Accessed 19th May 2013]
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