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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 16:19 UK

Tucker plays down Olympic hopes

Helen Tucker
Tucker is the second British woman to win the World Championships

World champion Helen Tucker has played down her chances of a triathlon medal at next month's Olympics in Beijing.

The 24-year-old from Bridgend says 15 girls are in the running for glory.

And she picked out Australian Emma Snowsill and Portugal's Vanessa Fernandes as the favourites to win gold.

"Those two are almost head and shoulders above the rest at the moment in their running speed and ability," Tucker told BBC Sport Wales.

Tucker has struggled with an ankle injury since 2006, but completed a remarkable comeback last month when she was crowned world champion in Canada.

She even admitted after the race she had contemplated not running at the World Championships

"Vancouver was extreme conditions being very cold and we don't often race in those conditions," said Tucker.

"A lot of the girls on the starting line psyched themselves out before the race.

"The past world champion Emma Snowsill wasn't in Vancouver but she is one of the favourites. Vanessa Fernandes was in Vancouver but completely froze out.


"She finished 10th which was more shocking than me finishing first."

Now Tucker's attentions are turning to Beijing along with 18-year-old Hollie Avil, the other woman in the British triathlon squad.

This time last year she was unsure if she would ever compete again after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in 2006.

And she said: "I'm so pleased to be going. If someone told me last year that I'd be going to the Olympics as a world champion, I would have laughed.

"I'm going to line up on the start line and going to give 100 per cent.

"If that comes out with a medal, then that's brilliant.

"I know I've got some good form recently and hopefully I can improve on that in my training.

"It's going to be hot and humid out there and that's going to be the hardest thing for us to overcome."

see also
Tucker named in GB triathlon team
27 Jun 08 |  Triathlon
Tucker's luck just keeps coming
13 Jun 08 |  Triathlon
Tucker nets triathlon world title
09 Jun 08 |  Triathlon
Tucker 'shocked' at Olympic nod
02 Jun 08 |  Triathlon
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Triathlon on the BBC
08 Nov 07 |  Triathlon
The triathlon uncovered
15 Mar 06 |  Triathlon
Triathlon tricks of the trade
17 Mar 06 |  Triathlon
Get involved in triathlon
14 Oct 05 |  Triathlon

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