Athletics: Holmes considers doubling up

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The Independent Online
Kelly Holmes, favourite to win gold in the world championship 1500 metres in Athens next month, is also considering running over 800m.

After hobbling out of the Olympic Games in Atlanta last year when a stress fracture in her left leg ruined her dreams of two medals, Holmes insisted she would only run one event in Greece this year. But now, fully recovered from that nightmare and having become the first Briton to better four minutes for the 1500m in 12 years in Sheffield last Sunday, Holmes is having second thoughts.

She reduced Zola Budd's British record of 3min 59.96sec by a massive 1.89sec in Yorkshire but will insist on two conditions if she is to try to better the 1500m silver and 800m bronze she won at the last Championships in Gothenburg two years ago.

Holmes said: "My sights are totally focused on winning the 1500m gold medal. Everything else is of a secondary nature. But with the 800s coming after my major goal I might consider having a run-out. However, if three British women do get the qualifying time there is no way I will try at the 800. I would not wish to prevent any qualified 800m winner going to Athens."

Tonight in Stockholm, Holmes steps down to 800m, the distance over which she set her British record of 1:56.21 in Monaco two years ago.

One man with an 800m record on his mind is Wilson Kipketer. The Kenyan, now a naturalised Dane, spent most of last summer chasing the oldest track record in the book, held by Sebastian Coe. But if conditions are perfect in the Olympic stadium, the world champion is expected to better the 1:41.73 that Coe ran in Florence in June 1981.