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Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:01 UK

Beth Tweddle shrugs off age concerns for London 2012

Tweddle 'surprised' to win World gold

Three-time world gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle has brushed aside concerns that she may be too old to land gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

At 25, the Briton is already the second oldest competitor on the circuit and will be 27 by the time of the Games.

"In every interview people ask about my age saying 'are you going to be past it for 2012?'" Tweddle told BBC Breakfast.

"But I'm still enjoying it, I'm still getting the results and I'll be there and ready. Then I'll retire."

Tweddle won the uneven bars title at the World Championships in Rotterdam on Saturday as two Chinese athletes fell from the apparatus.


Her victory capped a fine performance from the British team, with Louis Smith and Dan Purvis also earning medals.

"We had an amazing championships," said Tweddle. "There are several reasons: the National Lottery funding, the belief within the camp because people are picking up medals and the hard work of the gymnasts themselves.

"We just gradually keep making step forwards and hopefully that can keep going."

Tears and tumbles as Tweddle triumphs

In an interview with BBC Sport in June 2007, Tweddle had said that she planned to quit the sport in 2009 and would "be a spectator in 2012" - but is now determined to carry on for the time being.

She will compete at the European Championships next year as she continues her preparation for 2012 but will scale down her training regime in order to protect her ageing body.

"After a competition I'm so glad it's over and ice baths are a regular thing these days," she stated.

"Sometimes training is hard and you just think do I really want to carry on for two more years? But then I remember the feeling of being in the O2 [Arena in London] last year with the whole of the crowd behind me and I just think I want that again."

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see also
Tweddle stars in GB medals treble
23 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
GB's women seventh in team final
20 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
GB through to Worlds team final
17 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
Tweddle plans retirement routine
12 Jun 07 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics results
23 Aug 05 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics on the BBC
05 Oct 11 |  Gymnastics
Get involved in gymnastics
23 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics

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