Memorable moments: Holmes reaches promised land

Prior to Athens in 2004, Kelly Holmes's medal haul spoke volumes about a career of injuries and near misses.


Olympics - one bronze; World Championships - two silvers and a bronze; World Indoors - one silver; European Championships - one silver and one bronze.

Holmes's only trip to the top step at the podium had come at the Commonwealth Games. Otherwise, it was assumed she was just half a step short, particularly when competing against former training partner Maria Mutola.

A year before the games, Holmes's persistent injuries provoked a bout of depression in which she considered suicide - yet she emerged from the darkness fully fit and, at 34, finally ready to fulfil her potential.

Although Holmes qualified fastest for the 800m final, Mutola entered the race as favourite and duly entered the final straight with a narrow lead. Yet Holmes, running wide, overhauled the fading Mozambican and just held off Morocco's Hasna Benhassi.

Holmes's wide-eyed celebration entered Olympic legend, though she then paused anxiously for confirmation of the result before resuming her jubilation.

Having reached the promised land, more gold followed in the 1500m, and Holmes - soon to be Dame Kelly - had the honour of carrying the British flag at the closing ceremony.

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