ATHLETICS: Elaine setting out on long road back

This Is Wiltshire: Elaine O'Neill Elaine O'Neill

CHIPPENHAM sprinter Elaine O’Neill will find it hard to look back on 2012 with the same affection as county colleague Danny Talbot, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

While Trowbridge’s Talbot ended his season with a first appearance in the Olympic Games and a European Championships 200m bronze medal on his CV, O’Neill hasn’t raced since June.

A recurring Achilles tendon problem forced her to end her season shortly after the Olympic trials, having undergone an ankle operation last winter.

“Danny has had an amazing season,” said O’Neill, who represented Wales at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“He went to the Olympics and won his first senior international championship medal which is a big step.

“Initially I found it hard to watch the Olympics but then I just sat back and enjoyed it on television. It was an amazing event. But, sadly, it has not been a good year for me.

“After the Olympic trials I had a good spell of warm-weather training in Spain and was going to run in the Welsh International Games before the Olympics when the Achilles flared up again.

“I was then advised by the medical team at Sport Wales to call it a day and take a break to get the problem sorted out.

“I have been to see a strength and conditioning coach and I am doing a lot of postural work before I start sprinting again.

“I am back home in Chippenham now and in the next month I have to decide on what I am going to do next.

“It is time to refresh and have a new start.”

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