The coach of Oxford City triple jumper Nathan Douglas believes that he can go one step further than last year's outdoor European Championships by landing gold at this weekend's European Indoor Championships in Birmingham, writes Kieren Bushnell.

Ted King, who has been coaching Douglas for almost two seasons, says his young protégé is in the best shape of his career.

"Nathan has had his best winter ever, that's for sure," King said. "He's as fit as a flea at the moment and is in really good condition.

"We're not used to that, to be honest, because very often ahead of big events he's carried a minor niggle or two, which is a bit of an occupational hazard with triple jumpers."

With world No 1 and reigning outdoor champion Christian Olsson's out due to a torn thigh muscle, the pressure will be on Douglas to produce a golden performance.

But King believes Douglas won't be fazed by the home expectations.

"He's hungry to do well, and yes, there is a bit of extra pressure on him in front of a huge home crowd.

"But he's a very level-headed guy, and he's very much looking forward to it."

"This is definitely his biggest challenge yet, although we wouldn't have taken it on if it had not been in Birmingham.

"This is a meeting that he wants to do well in. King felt it was a blow that Douglas would not be pitting his wits against Olsson, although there are plenty of other tough challengers in the competition. "In his own mind, it's the same game, whether Christian is there or not "We never consider anybody else - we're only ever concerned with how well Nathan does," King added.

"It's actually disappointing that Christian will not be there, because Nathan likes to test himself against the best."King believes Douglas's best chance of gold will be to get a good early jump in to put the pressure on his rivals.

Likely challengers for the gold come in the shape of Romanian star Marian Oprea and fellow Brit Phillips Idowu "Marian and Phillips are two guys who can produce rubbish at times, but are also capable of producing a moment of magic. They will be fancy their chances, and so it's down to Nathan to put the pressure on them."

Qualifying gets under way at 10am today, with the final at 1.35pm tomorrow.