Holmes wins first of two Olympic golds in Athens (©GettyImages)
Holmes wins first of two Olympic golds in Athens (©GettyImages).

Dame Kelly Holmes to make return to competition

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Dame Kelly Holmes has revealed she is making a return to competitive sport, 10 years after winning double Olympic gold in Athens.

Holmes, who retired from athletics in 2005, is planning to return to competition as an endurance athlete competing in sprint duathlons, reports Sky Sports.

Her immediate aim is to qualify for next years world championship for the event, which consists of a 5km run, followed by a 20km cycle and then another 5km run.

She admits her competitiveness meant it impossible to stay out away from sport any longer: "You can take the athlete out of the competition but you can't take the competition out of the athlete, I've always had that mentality," she told Sky Sports News programme Sportswomen.

With the length of the event much longer than what she won her two gold medals in 2004 for - the 800m and 1500m, Holmes revealed she does find it tough, especially with no cycling experience.

"It's hurt every time I've done it. I haven't been able to walk for about four days after. Then someone mentioned about possibly going for a duathlon world championships," she said.

"At first I thought they were absolutely crazy and we were looking at the results for 2013 I was quite surprised that if I had done it right now, I would have come second.

With most of her time spent on two feet, not two wheels, it's understandable the 44-year-old finds this the most challenging aspect.

"The hardest thing I have found is actually the bike. I'm just not used to that, physiologically that's just not me. When I first started my quads literally felt like they were going to blow up."

During her athletics career, Holmes was renowned for sitting at the back, before producing a lethal sprint finish. That will not be her aim should next year, though.

"I won't be going there just to win, I'll be going there to win convincingly," she said.

The world championships will take place in Adelaide, Australia, in October 2015.

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