Louise Hazel funding her Commonwealth Games heptathlon return - and is confident of winning medal

12:48 30 January 2014

Louise Hazel with her Commonwealth Gold Medal

Louise Hazel with her Commonwealth Gold Medal

Archant

Louise Hazel says she is as determined as ever to succeed as she prepares to defend her Commonwealth heptathlon title.

Hazel, from March, also revealed in an interview on talkSPORT today that she is funding her return to the track and field in Glasgow.

Hazel, 28, came under fire last month after announcing her return to heptathlon just three months after retiring.

talkSPORT ‘banned’ Hazel from its airwaves for six months after deciding she only returned because Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill is expecting her first child.

But the ‘ban’ was lifted today with Hazel facing questions from athletics legend Daley Thompson.

She said: “When I made the decision (to retire) the hunger (to compete) wasn’t there. I didn’t want to get up and train and my focus was elsewhere (on the launch of her business, The Podium Effect, a health programme).

“But in December I sub-consciously started training again. I found myself in a park using bike rails as hurdles.

“The first time I started asking the question (about returning to competition) was when I heard about Jessica. But I woke up excited – and the first thing about getting back on track is wanting it.

“I think I can win a medal (at the Commonwealth Games).”

When Thompson asked Hazel if her reasons for retiring were still valid, she said: “Very much so.

“Having my funding slashed after London 2012 was not only Lottery funding, it was all of my contracts.

“That still stands – I’m going to be supporting myself at the Commonwealth Games.

“It was a big decision but if I want to do it, I just have to get on with it.”

Hazel is also looking forward to the challenge of running her business alongside returning to training.

“I have got the last couple of days of filming (for the business) and then I can crack on with the training,” she said.

“It will be a challenge and the training programme is my priority but I’m used to juggling more than one thing.”

Hazel has returned to the gym and started power-based training.

She said: “I did some lifting cleans (lifting a barbell from the floor to the chest) and the results were pretty promising – I’m about 10 per cent off my best.

“I found my results on my phone that I had logged last year – I wasn’t expecting them to be so close having had a full year out.”

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