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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Holmes keeps on running
Kelly Holmes
Double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes has no plans to retire following her memorable exploits in Athens.

The 34-year-old, who added 1500m gold to her 800m triumph on Saturday, hopes to continue her winning form.

"I don't plan to retire," she said. "I'm in the best shape of my life. "I would still like an indoors title but I have got my dream twice over.

"The most important thing now is to enjoy my sport and appreciate all the things it gives me."

Holmes was given the honour of carrying the flag for Great Britain at Sunday's closing ceremony.

British Olympic chief Simon Clegg paid tribute to her achievement.

"It is unbelievable," he said. "I think she has run two perfect races and that is why I asked her to carry the flag at the closing ceremony."

Holmes, 34, has admitted the dream of future Olympic glory stopped her quitting the sport two years ago.

"I could have given up. I had depression, everything. But I felt in my heart one day it might happen," Holmes said.

"This is my life, what I've dreamt of forever. No one can ever take it away. I will always be Olympic champion."

Holmes, who became only the seventh British woman to win an Olympic track and field title as she won the 800m and then 1500m gold, admitted her career had now peaked.

"I still have a few races to do this season, which is going to be pretty tough," she said.

"The main thing is that I think I can enjoy the rest of my career.

"Now I've got more than my dream come true. Whatever happens now, I don't really care.

I've had every single emotion an athlete can have
Kelly Holmes

"Nothing I do in my life will make me as happy as I am now."

If she extends her career into next season, Holmes could go for more gold at the World Championships in Helsinki.

The 34-year-old has suffered an agonising series of near misses in her career, with bad luck and injury blighting her progress.

Holmes was pipped to gold in the 1500m at the 1995 World Championship, and squeezed out of the medals with fourth in the 800m at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Injury ruined her bid for the 1997 World Championship 1500m, and many wondered if her best chance of a global title had gone as bronze in the 800m in the Sydney Olympics was followed by silver in the same event in the 2003 Worlds.

"All the ups and downs I've had, I think they've made me the athlete I am," Holmes said.

"It made me stronger. I've had every single emotion an athlete can have.

"Everything I've ever dreamed of has come true."

Holmes said good preparation for Athens in the pre-Games training camp in Cyprus had given her the confidence to go for the 1500m and 800m double.

"I thought I've got to give it a go, because I don't want to live with regrets," she said.

"If I'd done the 1500m and something went wrong and I didn't do the 800m I'd be gutted.

"I figured it was a bigger risk."





Links to more Athletics stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Kelly Holmes




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