Olympic hopeful Twell on comeback trail

Steph Twell is pleased with her return to action after a horrific ankle injury but is taking her comeback gradually, with the London 2012 Olympics in mind.

The 22-year-old fractured her ankle in a race in Belgium last February but impressed on her return to international action in December, finishing fourth in the Under-23 event at the European Cross Country Championships.

Twell, who trains at St Mary’s University College in Twickenham, races in the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday, with Ireland’s European senior champion Fionnuala Britton (pictured with her above) her main rival.

“I’m so glad to be back running after my injury. The reason I ran in the under-23 race at the Europeans was that we decided to take things gradually when returning, first to domestic then international competition,” said Twell.

“In fact I only decided to try and get a place in the team on the day when the trials were held in Liverpool.”

Former world junior 1500m champion Twell competed for experience at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, finishing sixth in her heat.

Before her injury she had boldly set her sights on 1500m gold at London 2012, and also spoken of targeting the 5000m in 2016 and the marathon in 2020, following in the footsteps of Paula Radcliffe.

But speaking on Friday she was modest about her ambitions for this summer, saying: “I’m looking forward to the Olympic Games in London.

“Competing the last time in Beijing was a great learning curve being so young and I am determined to try and run in the 1500m again and possibly may also consider the 5000m.”

Related feature: Ones to watch in 2012


Follow Martin Gough on Twitter

Find West London Sport on Facebook