JENNY Meadows is hoping to dodge injury and bad luck after she made her long-awaited return to the track at the weekend.
The Wigan Harrier had to settle with a fourth-placed finish in the women’s 800m final at the British Athletics Championships in Sheffield.
She led for the first half, crossing the the line less than a second behind 20-year-old winner Laura Muir, Meadows clocked a time of 2.06.80, after completing the first lap in 1.06.37.
The Great Britain ace qualified for the final by storming the third heat on Saturday at the Sheffield arena in a time of 2.05.68 – the fastest of any of the qualifiers.
She was denied a medal-winning comeback following a nightmare two years dogged by injury, but said: “I have only been back running for just over two weeks after being really ill and then pulling my calf.
“No excuses – hoping I can have a steady period of training and racing this year so I can get back to my true form.”
The 32-year-old hopes her comeback was the first step towards qualification for the World Indoors – and draw a line under her bad luck following an horrific run of injuries.
An Achilles problem which crushed her London 2012 chances, and during her return she was sidelined again by a fractured thighbone.
She has eyes on the World Indoor Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships this season – but will need to prepare without Lottery funding, after she was dropped last year.
“Obviously the financial stress will ease once I get back to competing and actually earning some prize money, that’s something I’ve not done over the last two years,” she added.
“I keep saying if a major injury happens again I can accept it and hold up my spikes and say ‘I’m doomed. I can’t do anymore’.”
Meadows featured at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and won World Championship bronze the following year.
Elsewhere last weekend, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson cleared 1.96 metres in the highjump to set a new British record.
The previous record she broke, of 1.95m, belonged to Wiganer Susan Jones (now Moncrieff), who sent her message on Twitter to congratulate the new record holder: “Amazing! So pleased for you. Enjoy it all, onwards and upwards. From the now former British record holder.”