Sotherton makes shock heptathlon comeback

VETERAN Olympian Kelly Sotherton has made a shock return to the heptathlon in a last-ditch bid to compete at next year’s London Olympics.

The 34-year-old won Olympic bronze in 2004 but quit heptathlon last November to focus on the 400 metres.

However, after winning a silver medal in the 4x400 metres relay at the European Indoor Championships in March, Sotherton failed to qualify for the recent World Championships in Daegu and lost her lottery funding recently.

“I started training four weeks ago for the heptathlon,” she said.

“It has rejuvenated my feelings for the sport, I am motivated more and I’m enjoying the fact that next summer I could be at the Olympics in the heptathlon.”

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Jessica Ennis has replaced Sotherton as British number one and the Sheffield athlete became world champion in 2009 before claiming the silver medal in Daegu this summer.

Sotherton is realistic about any expectations should she qualify, adding: “I don’t think I’m going to be rivalling her as I possibly could have been a few years ago.

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“I know where my limits lie, I’m not striving for a gold medal. If the wind was blowing the right way and I get a light shot or there was no sand in the sandpit then I might have a chance.”

The Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard is 6,150 points, comfortably below Sotherton’s 2005 personal best of 6,547 and the 6,517 from her last heptathlon in 2008.

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