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Jemma's hope still in limbo

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 29, 2012

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ST AUSTELL athlete Jemma Simpson's Olympic ambitions are still in limbo after little was resolved at the Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham.

Simpson's 800m event is one of the most competitive in Britain – but she still believes it is in her hands to book a place on Team GB.

She finished in the top two at the Alexander Stadium but must still hit the London 2012 A standard of 1:59.90minutes to be considered by team officials.

The 28-year old from Polgooth will now seek that mark at the European Championships in Helsinki but insists the implications of her winter injury troubles have not aided her ambition.

Simpson beat key rivals Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson in Birmingham but knows their better times this season rank them ahead of her unless she performs in Helsinki.

"If the British trials were like the American trials then it would be the first three across the line and you'd be able to celebrate and go home," she said. after crossing the line in 2:02.29, just behind surprise winner Lynsey Sharp.

"Everyone has got a shout for getting picked but everyone has got a different case to be considered. I did the first thing I needed to do by finishing top two but now I need the time.

"My ideal preparation for the Olympics would be to run the 1500m at the Europeans but that won't happen now, I need the time in the 800m and that means more rounds, which is not really what I want.

"It's an apprehensive time, my feelings leaving here are very mixed, I just don't know what is going to happen at the moment."

Simpson failed to make it out of the heats on her Olympic debut in Beijing and believes she would have already booked her place for a second appearance had it not been for a seven-week injury lay-off.

It makes for a stressful time, especially as partner Chris Thompson, who hopes to compete in the 5,000m, is also battling injury.

"I think I am about three weeks behind where I need to be but with a couple of weeks more training I think I'll be OK," she added.

"I just hope I get the chance to prove what I can do as I feel I've turned a corner."

Aviva has been backing the GB & NI Team since 1999. Now it's your turn. #BackTheTeam on Twitter or search for 'Aviva Athletics' on Facebook.

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