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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Friday, 31 December 2010

Olympian Liz Yelling sets sights on London 2012

Liz Yelling
Yelling won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth games

Olympian Liz Yelling says she will use the 2011 London Marathon to prove she is still a contender for London 2012.

Yelling's previous London Marathon was in 2008, where she finished in ninth place with a personal best of 2:28.33.

The 36-year-old told BBC Solent: "My big aim is London 2012, so I want to put my mark down in 2011 and prove I'm an Olympic contender.

"I've got to prioritise the big races starting with the London marathon, it's my stepping stone for the Olympics."

Yelling, who has taken part in two Olympic games, finishing 25th at Athens 2004 and 26th at Beijing 2008, admits qualification for the event is always challenging.

"You only have a few opportunities to qualify and you have to run in a lot of marathons in order to do that.

"A lot of other British women will be competing for those Olympic spots too so it's not going to be easy.

"I've just got to produce the results and go out and run a fast time to prove I am back and running well," Yelling added.

Although the Poole-based athlete returned to long-distance running earlier this year, after taking time off for the birth of her first child, she insists 2010 should not be considered her 'comeback' year.

"I don't think I've made it back yet. I have been plagued by a few injuries and niggles. So it's been more of a 'coming back' year.

"I haven't raced as much as I would've liked this year because it's mostly been about putting down a strong foundation for the bigger training ready in time for 2012.

"My big aim is the Olympics and the next 14 months is key for that," she added.



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