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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Lyne laps up a season of success
By Mike Burnett

Becky Lyne
Born: 4 July 1982
Club: Hallamshire Harriers
Events: 800m (PB 1:58.20) 1500m (PB 4:06.85)
Coach: Dave Turnbull

Not many people would have predicted back in March that Becky Lyne would be named Britain's best female athlete come the autumn.

Even Lyne herself would have been hard-pressed to believe the season would turn out so well when injury forced her to stay at home while her British team-mates jetted off to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

But fast-forward seven months and the European 800m bronze medallist has turned her career around, picking up the British Athletics Writers' annual award after a fantastic summer on the track.

"From the beginning of December through to about March I'd just struggled with injury after injury," she told BBC Sport.

"So watching the Commonwealths and seeing our British girls do so well, it just felt like a million miles away from where I was at that time.

"It was quite a depressing time, so I'm really pleased that suddenly things seemed to turn around so fast."

A fantastic summer saw her become the UK's third-fastest female 800m runner of all time and claim Britain's only female individual medal at the European Championships.

Looking back on all I've done this year, I think I did deserve to be in the running for the award

Becky Lyne
By the time of her victory in the Great North Mile road race last month, Lyne admitted she was a little less surprised to be in contention for the award.

"There were a few people who had won Commonwealth medals, like Jo Pavey, so I don't think it was a clear-cut decision," said the 24-year-old.

"But looking back on all I've done this year, I think I did deserve to be in the running for it.

"It would be false modesty if I said I was totally surprised."

Lyne believes the turning-point came at Hengelo in May when she set a new personal best, before dipping below two minutes for the first time at Gateshead the following week.

"In April/May time, everything seemed to slot into place with training," said Lyne.

Nic Bideau
Lyne finally gets a her trip to Australia, joining Bideau in January
"Hengelo is a race I've tried to get into in the past but been rejected from, but I ended up running this time and that was quite a shock and a real highlight.

"It's always special when you make a bit of a breakthrough. I realised then I could do something quite special that year.

With the season wrapped up, Lyne has already begun winter training and is preparing for next year's goals.

She is also looking forward to the opportunity to finally make it to Melbourne a year after missing out on the Commonwealth squad.

Nic Bideau, who helped guide Cathy Freeman to Olympic 400m gold and who now coaches world 5,000m silver medallist Craig Mottram, has asked Lyne to join his training camp in January.

"I'm looking forward to it already," she says. "Nic's my agent but he also coaches a lot of good runners, and he's invited me and some other British runners out to train."

The trip to Australia means Lyne will miss the indoor season but she says that will be no great loss.

"In the past I've just not run that well indoors and it's not something I particularly enjoy.

"There's a few issues with injuries running on such tight tracks, so it's probably sensible to stay away and concentrate on running well in the summer.

"The World Championships is the main competition at the end of August, so I'll be gearing everything towards that.

"That's the main goal, but I also want to progress time-wise and keep running consistent fast times."



SEE ALSO
Awards honour for Farah and Lyne
15 Oct 06 |  Athletics
Lyne & Farah claim Tyneside wins
30 Sep 06 |  Athletics
Three bronzes for gutsy Britons
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Lyne's next in line
11 Jun 06 |  Athletics


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