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Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 10:58 UK

Kluft backs Sotherton to win gold

Kelly Sotherton and Carolina Kluft
Kluft (right) says she will be supporting Sotherton (left)

World and Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft says she wants Kelly Sotherton to succeed her as the gold medallist in Beijing this summer.

The Swede, who is competing at the Celtic Cup meeting in Scotland, will not defend her crown in Beijing and said Sotherton deserved the medal.

"My hopes are that Kelly will be one of the medallists," she said.

"She's one of my best friends and a good athlete and really deserves gold. I cross my fingers for her."

Kluft, who has opted to enter the long jump and triple jump instead of the heptathlon, said she was also a big fan of Jessica Ennis, who will miss the Games because of injury.

"It's so sad for her but she'll come again," she said.

The 25-year-old Swede said she had no regrets about her decision not to defend her title, but would not rule out returning to the seven-discipline even in the future.

"It was a difficult decision but something was wrong and I didn't have the same feeling for the heptathlon. I came to the solution that I needed something new," she said.

"Never say never - right now I feel very happy with the new challenge and I want to give 100% to these two new events."

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see also
Sotherton eyes up track for 2012
30 May 08 |  Athletics
Javelin will not stop Sotherton
26 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Britons boosted by Kluft opt-out
20 Mar 08 |  Olympics
Kluft to skip Olympic heptathlon
19 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Team GB for Beijing
17 Mar 08 |  Team GB
Sotherton and Kwakye earn silvers
07 Mar 08 |  Athletics
Which athletes will shine in 2008?
25 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Extratime: Carolina Kluft
24 Aug 07 |  Hardtalk

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