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Simpson vows to learn from Beijing experience

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 22, 2012

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JEMMA Simpson's belated start to 2012 may have given her British 800m rivals the edge in the race to win an Olympic place – but she insists she'll be ready for London 2012.

The 28-year-old Newquay & Par AC runner from Polgooth, near St Austell, hampered by a seven-week injury lay-off, ran a season's best 2:00.97minutes in New York on June 9 and in doing so claimed she's just getting going in her bid for one of three Olympic spots.

With selection for the 800m set to go down to the wire, Simpson knows the upcoming Olympic trials in Birmingham hold the key – but with a pedigree of performing on the national stage she is more than confident of her chances.

The three-time British champion still needs to hit the London 2012 A standard of 1:59.90 but will line up against the likes of Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, who have it, as well as Jenny Meadows, knowing her Olympic dreams are still a reality.

"This is the one point in my life that I have been aiming towards," said Simpson, who failed to make it out of the heats of the 800m on her Olympic debut in 2008.

"The Beijing Olympics were incredible, it was my first time and I was young and I wasn't developed so it was a case of running to the absolute best of my ability just to compete with the field.

"But since then I have gained so much strength, I am a lot stronger now to be able to cope and be competitive and get up there and really go for it.

"I can see that I'm starting to race near where I want to be, so it should set me up nicely for the trials and for the Olympics."

If Simpson does make it to London she insists the lessons learnt from her Chinese experience four years ago will be invaluable.

Simpson admits mistakes were made but vowed to put that right.

She added: "Statistically most medallists come from their second Games, it takes that first one to bed yourself in.

"I remember Beijing being such an overwhelming experience that I almost forgot that I was racing, I made tactical errors because I was overwhelmed and that cost me getting to the semi-finals.

"This time around I won't make that mistake again because that is in the memory bank. You learn from these experiences and it gives you a better chance."

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