Athletics - McConnell not retiring yet

British track and field veteran Lee McConnell insists she isn't ready to retire but has also revealed she has no intention of moving to Loughborough like the UKA hierarchy want.

Athletics - McConnell not retiring yet

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2008 Great Britain Lee McConnell

McConnell looked to have raced her last race at the London 2012 Olympics having bowed out of the semi-finals of the 400m and finished fifth as part of Britain’s one lap relay quartet.

However, despite being 34 and with three Olympic appearances under her belt plus a host of major international relay medals, McConnell resisted the calls to hang up her spikes.

She has been reinvigorated by her marriage to and honeymoon with Craig Bonthron post-London 2012 as well as the Commonwealth Games in her native Glasgow in less than two years time.

And unlike some of the other high-profile elders in Britain, namely Olympic champion Mark Lewis-Francis and world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders, McConnell has remained on funding.

She has not only seen a change to her personal life but also to the management structure at UKA with Charles van Commenee out as head coach and Peter Eriksson in.

Neil Black has also been appointed performance director with he and Eriksson keen to centralise Britain's elite athletes at one hub in Loughborough where McConnell went to university.

McConnell won't be relocating back to the East Midlands though and insists she won't retire until her love for athletics has completely dissipated.

"There's statistics from rowing and cycling that [indicate that] this model works. Neil Black believes in it and he's got to be given that chance," said McConnell.

"Whether it works, time will tell. Hopefully, it will for athletics. But the plan for me is to stay in Glasgow. I wouldn't move at this stage in my career.

"A lot of people who have retired say they've come down the track and not wanted to be there anymore; I've not reached that day.

"I'm still passionate about the sport so I feel I should keep going until the body or mind decides it's had enough. At that point, I'll retire.

"It was incredible to be part of a home Olympics and the support from everybody was amazing. Running in London gave me a taste of what it would be like to compete in front of a crowd in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games.

"I was straight back into winter training after being away on holiday and I did some in the weeks before the wedding. I still love training and competing."

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