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Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Zoe Gillings targets World Championship return

Zoe Gillings
Gillings will start training with Australian Stephanie Hickey next week

Snowboarder Zoe Gillings is targeting the FIS World Championships in La Molina, Spain as her first competitive outing since the Winter Olympics.

The Isle of Man-born British number one says the knee injury she suffered in Vancouver is on the way to recovery and she cannot wait to race again.

"I've been working extra hard in the gym and my knee is feeling much stronger," said Gillings.

The 25-year-old finished eighth in Olympic boardercross event in February.

The knee injury meant Gillings missed out on the Olympic final by just one place.

Following six weeks of rehabilitation and keyhole surgery the Manx athlete has spent much of the summer training at the English Institute of Sport in Bath.

Gillings has not been back on the snow since the Olympic semi-final, over nine months ago.

Zoe Gillings
Gillings has been training at the English Institute of Sport

"Physically I feel in great shape but I need snow time. I know how much work I have to put in to be ready for the World Championships," she said.

Originally Gillings had targeted a return for the opening round of the World Cup in the United States, on the 15 December.

"I feel like that would be too ambitious and the new year is a more realistic target."

Gillings will head to Portes du Soleil in France towards the end of next week to meet up with her Austrian coach Lukas Prem and training partner Stephanie Hickey.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting up with Steph and I think we will push each other really hard," she said.

Fellow Olympian Hickey is Australia's number one ranked snowboardcross athlete.

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