Athletics: Pressure fails to affect Holmes

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The Independent Online

It is entirely fitting that Kelly Holmes' first competitive appearance since winning the 800/1500 metres double in Athens last month should take place at an Olympic stadium tomorrow.

It is entirely fitting that Kelly Holmes' first competitive appearance since winning the 800/1500 metres double in Athens last month should take place at an Olympic stadium tomorrow.

The 34-year-old Briton will run the metric mile at the Berlin Golden League meeting in the arena that hosted the 1936 Games and which has recently been rebuilt for the World Cup finals in two years' time.

Among those she faces is the woman who took silver in Athens, Tatyana Tomashova, who is in excellent form. But Holmes, whose achievements in Athens were marked by an open-top bus ride around her home town of Tonbridge that attracted 80,000 people, is unperturbed about the challenge.

"I don't feel any pressure and don't have anything to prove," said Holmes, who has spent the past six days training. "I've come here well prepared and obviously I am hoping to run well. But really I'm feeling very relaxed about the race. I've now achieved everything that I wanted to do this summer and a little bit more."

Fellow Britons Hayley Tullett and Helen Clitheroe are also included in Sunday's race, while Olympic 200m finalist Abi Oyepitan steps down to 100m, and Donna Fraser and Christine Ohurougu are in the 400m.

A victory in this event for Tonique Williams-Darling will win the Bahamian at least half of the IAAF $1m (£556,000) Golden Jackpot. She can collect the full amount if the only other contender, Christian Olsson, loses in the triple jump.

Jo Pavey and Kathy Butler are in 5,000m action, while Michael East - sixth in the Olympic 1,500m - is the only British male competitor at the last Golden League meeting of the summer.

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