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UK Athletics

Hansen sets Beijing target

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29 May 2008





Former world indoor triple jump record holder Ashia Hansen says she can make the British team for this year’s Olympics at the age of 36.


And the Birchfield Harrier will start her campaign next month with her first competition since February of last year.


Hansen joined sprinter Jeanette Kwakye last week at Birmingham’s Harvey Nichols store to launch the Aviva National Championships incorporating the Team GB Selection Trials, which will be returning to the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 11th, 12th and 13th July.


Hansen, an MBE, is one of Britain’s most decorated female athletes, having twice claimed world indoor gold.


This year will see her final chance to grab Olympic glory. 


She said: “This will definitely be my final chance to get to the Olympics. I was disappointed to miss out on Athens after being at Sydney back in 2000.


There’s no way I feel too old to be gunning for Beijing.  You just have to look at Jonathan Edwards and see what he achieved at a similar age to me now.”


Hansen has had a torrid time with injuries over the last four years which have largely ruled her out of sustained competitive action.


However she has been completely injury-free for some months now and has stepped up her training.


She added: “I’ve been in full training now since January and I feel no ill effects from any of my previous injuries. I’m really looking forward to see how things go in my season opener.


“I’m heading to Crete on June 7 for my first jump in Chania. Depending on how I do there and how others jump will dictate what competition I follow up in.”


“The rebuilding process has been lengthy but not once did I ever think of giving up.  I love the sport too much.  The lure of Beijing has kept me going.”


Hansen will look to secure her qualification in her home town at the Aviva National Championships in July, with the event returning to Birmingham for the first time since 2003.