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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 June 2006, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Lyne's next in line
By Sarah Holt

Being labelled the next Dame Kelly Holmes is not all it is cracked up to be - just ask Becky Lyne.

LYNE FACTS
Becky Lyne has hit form this season
Born: 4th July 1982
Club: Hallamshire Harriers
Events: 800m (PB 1:58.20) 1500m (PB 4:13.70)
Coach: Dave Turnbull
Did you know? Lyne teaches athletics to primary school children
A string of encouraging races, a new lifetime 800m best and the 23-year-old is already drawing comparisons with the 800m and 1500m Olympic champion.

After two seasons toiling in relative obscurity and juggling two part-time jobs, Lyne is a little baffled by the media attention.

"All I do is run two laps around the track," Lyne told BBC Sport. "It's amazing how a couple of races can turn things around.

"I don't feel any pressure to go out and be the next Kelly Holmes but it would be wonderful to achieve what she has.

"I'm flattered to be mentioned in the same breath as Kelly but I'm not getting carried away. I didn't choose athletics to be famous and in this sport you can't take anything for granted."

Lyne may be playing down her credentials as a suitable successor to Holmes but there is no denying the Stockport-based runner has taken substantial steps forward this season.

After setting a new personal best in Hengelo, Lyne delivered an excellent performance for the runners-up spot at the Oslo Golden League.

The following week in Gateshead, Lyne went one better, dipping under two minutes for the first time to become the United Kingdom's third-fastest female 800m runner of all time with a time of 1:58.20.

The Hallamshire Harrier teetered on the verge of big things when she took gold at the European Under-23 Championships in 2003.

I don't think my improvement has been that sudden, it just looks that way on paper

Becky Lyne
But despite some consistent performances, her progress slowed, especially as most of last season was disrupted by an Achilles injury.

This year has been different but the level-headed Lyne refuses to acknowledge a breakthrough - she has always seen herself as a work in progress.

"I don't think my improvement has been that sudden, it just looks that way on paper," Lyne said.

"I felt capable of running under two minutes last year but didn't get the opportunity before I got injured.

"This winter has made me physically and mentally stronger. I recently changed coaches (from Gordon Surtees to Dave Turnbull) and Dave is good at keeping me relaxed and pressure free."

Lyne, however, concedes there are two other important factors which have given her career extra impetus - being left out of England's Commonwealth Games squad and signing up with agent Nic Bideau.

The 23-year-old watched the Melbourne Games in March from home, where she nursed a series of injuries and read Kelly Holmes' autobiography.

"It was very frustrating to miss out on the Games and to sit watching my rivals run so well," said Lyne

"Seeing what my friend Lisa Dobriskey (who won 1500m gold) could do and knowing I wasn't there did spur me on."

Bideau, who helped guide Cathy Freeman to 400m Olympic gold, was in Australia advising 5,000m silver medallist Craig Mottram and former world cross country champion Benita Johnson.

Nic Bideau
Bideau has set about getting the best races for the advancing Lyne

When the Australian returned to his base in Twickenham, Lyne tracked him down and he promptly got her a prestigious Golden League lane.

"Nic is also very encouraging and has become a bit of a mentor. I used to book my races myself which was very stressful but now he takes care of that for me," she said.

"He has a good set-up and some very good athletes. I'm striving to move up a level."

A promising junior career, ill-timed injuries, a strong team to support her - is Lyne sure she won't be the next Holmes?

After all, Lyne, who has yet to make her Great Britain senior debut, is already plotting an attempt at the double.

"I would like to do a few more 1500m and knock a chunk off my personal best (4:13.70)," said Lyne.

"I'm confident that I'm in good shape - now I have to run and justify that."

SEE ALSO
Lyne shocked by Gateshead display
11 Jun 06 |  Athletics
Powell on top as Britons struggle
02 Jun 06 |  Athletics


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