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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:46 UK

Veteran Longo in no hurry to quit

Jeannie Longo
Longo bids farewell every four years but is not considering retirement yet

French cyclist Jeannie Longo, who is taking part in her seventh Olympics in Beijing, says it may not be her last.

Longo, whose Olympic career started in Los Angeles in 1984, has not ruled out stretching her record to eight appearances at London 2012.

The 49-year-old ex-Olympic champion says she bids farewell to the Games every four years.

"I'm not a liar, but every time, the urge comes back and I resume training and I feel fine," she said.

"This season I told myself 'why not give it another try?' and the training went well."

A road race Olympic champion in 1996 and a time-trial silver medallist in 1988 and 1996, Longo returned once again this season to win three French titles to add to her previous 52 and earn Olympic qualification.

She will not, however, be seen at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, having never taken part in an opening ceremony.

"Road cycling races usually take place early in the Olympic programme and it's nonsense spending three hours standings in a stadium on the eve of competition," she said.

The Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, where she made her debut, was the first year women cyclists were allowed to compete.

Following Beijing, she may consider competing in London almost 30 years after her first Games.

"London could be fun," she said, "and it's not far from home."

The overall record for the number of appearances at an Olympics is held by sailor Hubert Raudaschl of Austria, who competed in nine Games.

see also
Veteran Longo targets 2008 Games
22 Dec 06 |  Cycling

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