Dame Kelly Holmes Prudential

Dame Kelly Holmes tips Laura Muir for success at World Athletics Championships

Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes believes Laura Muir is currently in the best shape of her career, but is backing her fellow middle-distance runner to reach even greater heights ahead of the summer’s World Athletics Championships in London.

Muir celebrated double European Indoor gold in Belgrade earlier this month, adding a 3,000m title to her 1,500m crown from just 24 hours previously – all after beating a British record that had belonged to Holmes herself.

But Holmes feels there is still more to come from Muir in the months ahead.

Still only 23, the Scot goes into the summer’s World Athletics Championships a favourite for more gold, with the competition also returning to the familiarities of London and the Olympic Stadium.

And for Athens 2004 double gold medallist Holmes, a return to London could be the start of something special for Muir, so long as she doesn’t get lured into thinking too far ahead.

“She has absolutely exploded onto the scene which is fantastic and she’s in the greatest shape she has ever been in,” said Holmes. “She knew that and went out and proved it in Belgrade.

“Running fast and winning medals are two completely different things, so for her to have the mindset that she can be a champion is so important.

“She’s young, got a lot of development to come and done a lot in a short amount of time.

“If she can have a solid World Championships then that can really set her up to being one of the favourites heading forward.

“That’s an important mindset to have, you feel strong and confident and if she can have a big year this year then she’ll be in an ideal place in the cycle in terms of progression.

“As an athlete, she won’t be thinking about Tokyo. It will be her long-term dream to be Olympic champion but there’s so much to come before that and you can’t look too far ahead.”

Holmes was speaking at the regional launch for the PruGOals campaign, where the 46-year-old spent the day with young people and teachers from schools all over the UK in a link between charity Teach First and Prudential.

Spending the day passing on tips and advice, Holmes also shared pointers for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 having taken part in the sportive last year.

The students and teachers will be provided with bikes, equipment, training and nutrition advice as part of the new 2017 PruGOals programme, boosting the wellbeing and employability skills of young people.

And for Holmes, the programme holds a lot of pertinence at professional and personal level, making her first big breakthrough into sport when noticed at school.

She added: “My role is to give an insight from making the transition from a runner to a cyclist and I’m hoping I can pass on my experiences as an ex-international athlete, as well as somebody who has worked with young people.

“They need a focal point in which to believe in themselves, to set themselves ambitious goals and then go and achieve them, and that’s something we want to do as part of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46.

“It’s so important to show young people there are opportunities for everyone, no matter what their background is, to give them the opportunity to make changes in themselves and feel like they can achieve.

“You have to set yourself goals and then believe you can achieve it. Once you do that then it feels amazing, and that’s what I felt after taking part last year.”

Dame Kelly Holmes was speaking at the regional launch of PruGOals, a partnership between Prudential and Teach First which aims to empower young people to drive their ambitions and fulfil their potential regardless of social or economic background.

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