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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 18:01 UK

Fell sees London as positive test

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Fell confident ahead of Worlds

Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell has said this weekend's World Championships will be a good marker of her progress since Beijing.

Fell goes into the London event as the world number one, but she believes the rankings are not wholly accurate.

"Our sport has changed in format over the past year, so I find that ranking slightly embarrassing," she said.

Since January 2009, the shooting and running disciplines have been combined into a single event.

"It's completely different," Fell told BBC Spotlight. "I'm a bit up and down and the moment and I'm still not consistent."

"The shooting used to be about control, being relaxed and shooting slowly and the running was a straight 3km, requiring sheer strength and determination.

"But now we have to run and shoot a bit like the winter biathlon, so you have got to control your heart rate before you come in to shoot and then re-focus."

I'd absolutely love to go on to be in London 2012, but I think it's going to be a massive challenge just to qualify

Heather Fell

Fell did manage to finish second in the European Championships under the new format in June and is hoping she can reproduce that form in the World Championships.

"I'm going to there to enjoy it and do my best," she said.

"I'm doing well and training's gone to plan, but I'm not going to be disappointed if I don't win the gold medal."

Amongst the competitors at the event in Crystal Palace will be German Lena Schoneborn who won Olympic gold in Beijing.

And after losing out to Schoneborn last summer, Fell is determined to beat her at home.

Fell said: "I've beaten her [Schoneborn] a few times this year, including at the Europeans in her home country, but it would be great to do it again."

The 26-year-old will face stiff competition for a podium place from Lithuania's Laura Asadauskaite and Aya Medany from Egypt, who have each won two of this years four World Cup competitions.

"Both of those two have been really consistent all year, so it's going to be interesting to see how they perform under the pressure, but they're going to be the two to watch," Fell added.

There are 60 women scheduled to compete at the Championships, the first of the action starting on Friday with the women's semi-finals.

606: DEBATE

Since winning silver in Beijing just under a year ago, Fell has been awarded stable funding by the British Olympic Association, enabling her to focus solely on training.

The tag of Olympic medallist has also given rise to other benefits.

Fell said: "I've had a lot more parties to go to over the past year and various functions so this year has been a little bit more relaxed and I've been able to enjoy life and make the most of the medal."

"I'd absolutely love to go on to be in London 2012, but I think it's going to be a massive challenge just to qualify seeing as we're still three years away," she added.



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