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Olympian Liz Yelling motivated by London 2012

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

Dorset-based Olympian Liz Yelling says the prospect of qualifying for London 2012 gives her motivation to continue her long-distance running career.

Yelling, who came 25th in the marathon in Athens and 26th in Beijing, returned to running last year after taking time off for the birth of her first child.

"The Olympics are a magical event and definitely the golden carrot for me," the 36-year-old told BBC Radio Solent.

"The games are what motivates me to continue my running career into 2012."

Yelling, who came second in the Reading half marathon on Sunday, is set to compete in the London Marathon on 17 April.

Reading was a great opportunity for me as I need to be able to run a fast time in the marathons in order to get an Olympic qualifying time

Olympian Liz Yelling

The last time Yelling competed at the event was in 2008, when she finished in ninth place in a personal best time of two hours, 28 minutes and 33 seconds.

And she admitted Sunday's half marathon was a benchmark for the London run next month.

"Reading is a really important race for me, it's a good half marathon and it is a good indicator of my form in preparation for the London Marathon," she said.

"It shows me where I'm at and how I'm performing before the race next month, as well as for other marathons that will qualify me for the Olympics.

"It also shows me how well my training has been going, so Reading was a great opportunity for me as I need to be able to run a fast time in the marathons in order to get an Olympic qualifying time."

Yelling finished in Reading in a time of 1:12.00, behind Kenyan Edith Chelimo, who ran in 1:11.22.



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