Athletics: Murray still 'hungry'

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Liz McColgan yesterday welcomed the return of her rival Yvonne Murray to athletics after a year's absence because of injury. The two Scots have been keen - and often bitter - opponents during their careers on the track and on the road.

Looking ahead to their duel in tomorrow's Great North Run on Tyneside, McColgan insisted: "I have all the respect in the world for Yvonne. She is a fine runner and it is always good to have the best out there.

"I'm pleased she's over her problems and hopefully she will be able to get back to the form she showed before."

Murray, 31, missed the Olympics because she was recovering from a sciatic nerve injury. The Commonwealth 10,000m champion, who is making her half- marathon debut tomorrow, said: "It's been a traumatic year, but it has also made me very hungry and very determined."

She plans two more road races before deciding which event to focus on for next year's World championship season.

McColgan, 16th in the Olympic marathon after being bitten by an insect two days earlier, said: "I've had blood tests and everything is now fine."