Athletics: Holmes' confidence growing

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Kelly Holmes is winning her race against time to compete in the 800 metres after intensive treatment on her leg injury.

"Unless I end up on the track with two legs in plaster I'll be there," she said yesterday.

Britain's medical staff are satisfied that the 26-year-old Army sergeant is up running both in the 800 and 1500 metres. Holmes has been having intensive treatment after what was thought to be a bruise turned out to be the early stages of a stress fracture in her lower left leg.

"The lining of the bone is slightly damaged," she said. "But it has not been a major set-back. The doctors and physios are happy about me competing. They say I might just have some slight discomfort after races.

"I haven't been doing much running lately, but that is not a problem because all the work for the Games has been done. Realistically, I have every chance of doubling up. It's just a case of seeing how I feel after each round."

Holmes, who won a 1500m silver and 800m bronze at last year's World Championships, had to pull out of her last two grand prix races - in Stockholm and London - before the Olympics.

Tony Ward, spokesman for the British team, said: "Our medical staff and management are satisfied Kelly can compete. There is no way they would allow her to do so if they thought there was a chance of serious damage.

"They once withdrew David Grindley from the 400 metres of a World Championship over worries about an injury he had.

"Kelly is a pretty determined athlete and if anything this may have taken some of the pressure off her. Because she had a tremendous success last season there was a weight of expectation on her shoulders."

Britain's other casualty, 5,000 metres runner Sonia McGeorge, hopes that further treatment on her injury means she will be able to run in her heat tomorrow. She has tendon damage to her right foot.