Sotherton U-turn for heptathlon

BRITISH former Olympic bronze medal-winning heptathlete Kelly Sotherton has played down her London 2012 chances after announcing a shock return to the event.

Sotherton, 34, abandoned the heptathlon to focus on the 400m 11 months ago but yesterday performed a dramatic U-turn to boost her hopes of making next summer’s Games at all. Yet she admits she will struggle to overhaul compatriot Jessica Ennis, the former world champion who is one of Team GB’s top medal prospects for London 2012.

“I don’t think I’m going to be rivalling her as I possibly could have been a few years ago,” she said. “I know where my limits lie, I’m not striving for a gold medal.”

Sotherton helped the 4x400m relay team win silver at the European Indoor Championships in March but failed to qualify for the summer’s World Championships and faced a battle to make the 2012 team.

However she believes she stands a better chance in her most familiar event, which she quit over fears her body could not cope with the workload. “I started training four weeks ago for the heptathlon,” she said. “It’s rejuvenated my feelings for the sport.”