England missing out on gold 'a blessing'

18 April 2012 / 14:42

Double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes has revealed she is glad her protege Hannah England did not win gold at last year's World Championships.

England claimed a surprise silver medal in the 1,500 metres in Daegu, producing a storming finish in the home straight to finish just 0.28 seconds behind American winner Jennifer Simpson.

Holmes said: "She won the silver medal and could have won gold. I'm glad she didn't because I think the pressure on her would have been immense."

She added: "I'm personally glad she didn't win it because I know what it would have been like if she had. Now what it's given her is that edge inside her, whether she portrays it or not, that she can do it.

"She now just needs to get it right. She's focusing really well, she's kept herself out of the country most of the time training and got away from the media glare."

Holmes admits England still has to work on her self-belief to ensure last year's success is not a one-off, but is already working to help the next generation of British sportsmen and women achieve similar glory.

Holmes won Olympic gold over 800 and 1,500m in Athens in 2004, and a year later was in Trafalgar Square to hear that London had been awarded the 2012 Games. And now, with 100 days to go before the opening ceremony, she believes Britain's athletes will be glad they still have the time to fine tune their preparations.

"Everyone says to me I can't believe it's eight years since Athens," she added. "Anyone I meet for the first time still talk to me like it was yesterday. It's very much prominent in my mind and I talk about it every day.

"It's weird how time flies and we are at 100 days to go. One minute I'm standing in Trafalgar Square listening to the announcement and the next minute we are talking about 100 days to go.

"From our perspective it's crazily close, from an athlete's perspective I think they are glad they still have 100 days to go. They still have a lot of work to do and some haven't even got in the team yet. They can't be thinking of the Games, the Games is irrelevant to them until they qualify."