Olympics - Fell not thinking of London 2012

Fri, 31 Jul 14:38:00 2009

It's not easy to believe Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell when she says London 2012 does not necessarily figure in her long term plans.

MODERN PENTATHLON Heather Fell Team GB Beijing 2008 - 0

The 26-year-old is Great Britain's premier modern pentathlete. She collected individual silver at last month's European Championships in Leipzig before helping GB to team gold.

And modern pentathlon a lung-busting combination of swimming, fencing, horse riding running and shooting is a sport in rude health in the UK at the moment.

Fell's silver Britain's third consecutive modern pentathlon Olympic medal has made sure of that. In UK Sport's funding allocation at the turn of the year, modern pentathlon was handed 6.41m ahead of London 2012 (an 8.3 per cent increase).

London 2012 therefore, is the next logical step for Fell. It seems every athlete up and down the country worth their salt is already dreaming of what might be in the capital in just under three years.

So it may come as a surprise, but it is nonetheless refreshing, to hear Fell's ambivalence towards London's first Olympics in 64 years.

"Everyone talks about it 2012 all the time but it's still a million miles away," said Fell.

"This year I'm trying to focus on getting to the World Championships, next year I'm sure they'll be something else to focus on and then maybe I'll suddenly find myself approaching it.

"I basically said that I wanted to use this year to see if I'm going to carry on and reassess so I haven't said that I'm definitely training for the next three years. I'll reassess at the end of this year and go from there.

"I just think it's a huge commitment it's going to be the next three years of my life committed to sport.

"Before Beijing it was only really two years that I trained full-time so it's quite daunting and that's why I'm putting it off really. I can't see myself getting quite as good a result again."

Should Fell opt against another tilt at the Olympics at 2012, it will come as a blow to Pentathlon GB. While there are a number of pretenders to her throne, there is no doubt Fell is currently the queen of Team GB.

Teenager Freyja Prentice came 12th at the World Junior Championships, while Katy Livingston has a World Championship bronze medal to her name.

And Fell revealed she is not convinced she has the stomach for the fight to qualify for London 2012.

"There's going to be so many of us trying to qualify, it's going to be a matter of trying to be the top two in Britain in 2012, that will be the hardest challenge I think," she added.

"There are even more people challenging you for that spot in the team so it's going to be even harder now, it's pretty difficult.

"After every Olympics there's always a big influx of new people because we get a bit of press and people think 'wow, maybe we can go to the Olympics for that'. It happens every year but even more so this time because of London 2012."

More than the Games / Eurosport

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