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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 00:07 GMT
Ashia Hansen MBE
Ashia Hansen on her way to glory in Munich
Hansen achieved glory in Munich in 2002
For Ashia Hansen, 2002 represented a stunning comeback.

The 31-year-old triple jumper had almost quit the sport previously because of an agonising achilles tendon injury.

But she refused to admit defeat and was rewarded with two of world athletics' most prestigious titles.

Hansen retained the Commonwealth Games title she had first claimed in 1998 with the very last jump of a nail-biting competition.

Then in the same summer she took European victory in Munich on the penultimate clearance of an enthralling competition.

Ashia Hansen factfile
Ashia Hansen
Age: 31
Place of birth: Indiana, USA
Career highlights: Broke world record in 1998 with jump of 15.16m and took gold at Commonwealth Games; won world indoor title in 1999; took gold at 2002 Commonwealth Games and also won European gold

"It's fantastic," said Hansen. "My achievements have already been recognised by the general public. Now the country has done so. Isn't that great? I'm really delighted."

It had been a long road to stardom in more ways than one for the woman who was born in Evansville, Indiana, USA, in 1971.

Hansen was adopted as a three-month-old baby and moved to Ghana with her guardians - an English woman and her Ghanaian husband.

Six years later the young Hansen settled in London and she would eventually become one of her adopted nation's finest sports talents.

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 Ashia Hansen MBE
"This is the icing on the cake"
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