Shelly has London 2012 in her sights

Aiming to shine: Shelly Woods, Britain's top female wheelchair racer
Aiming to shine: Shelly Woods, Britain's top female wheelchair racer

SHELLY Woods is adamant the London 2012 Paralympics will be her time to shine after an up-and-down World Championships in January .

The 24-year-old from St Annes claimed just a bronze in New Zealand, while her bid for marathon gold was curtailed by poor officiating and organisation.

Britain’s No.1 female wheelchair racer finished third in the 5,000m, fifth in the 800m and seventh in 1500m before pulling out of the marathon, after it was revealed the roads around the course would not be closed.

Fears were raised in the aftermath as to whether Woods, who won Paralympic 1500m silver and 5,000m bronze in 2008, could lose part of her funding.

But after those concerns were allayed, Woods is going full speed ahead for the London 2012 Paralympics, which are 500 days away as of April 4.

Woods said: “I will be 26 by the time 2012 comes around, and hopefully I will be right at the top of my game and ready to go out there and do well.

“Everything I am doing is preparing me for 2012 and making sure I am in the best shape I can possibly be in for me to go out there and be the best I can be.

“If I can win gold in London that would be the ultimate thing in my career. I was not as sharp as I was in the summer at the worlds and that is something to work on.

“I just didn’t feel as sharp, and to win medals in the races I do, and with the standard where it is at the moment, you need to be right up there and really race sharp.

“I go out and train to be the best I can be and I know everyone else does the same and there isn’t much difference between us and the Olympic athletes.”

Woods may have missed the marathon at the World Championships in New Zealand citing safety fears, but that won’t be the case at next month’s London Marathon, which she won four years ago.

She will line up against familiar faces in Switzerland’s Sandra Graf, American Amanda McGrory and Canadian Diane Roy and has called for support now and at 2012.

“The London Marathon should be a great race as always and there are a lot of fast racers out there at the moment,” said Woods. “I will just have to hang on to the leaders and hope I have enough power if it comes to a sprint finish.

“And with London coming I would just say to everyone to get behind it. It is going to be huge, it is a really exciting thing and it won’t come along too often.”

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