September 13, 2018 / 4:38 PM / a month ago

Athletics: Sotherton collects Beijing heptathlon bronze a decade late

LONDON (Reuters) - Retired British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton looked forward to receiving her third Olympic medal on Thursday, a decade on from the Beijing 2008 competition.

Athletics - 2013 Virgin London Marathon Preview Press Conference - International Men & Celebrities - The Tower Hotel, London - 17/4/13 Former Athlete Kelly Sotherton poses after the press conference Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Jed Leicester Livepic

Sotherton finished fifth in Beijing but moved up after Ukraine’s Liudmyla Blonska and Russian Tatiana Chernova were disqualified for doping, the latter only last year after a sample was re-tested.

“Until I have the medal I don’t really know how I’m feeling,” said Sotherton, 41, ahead of the formal presentation at the Team GB Ball.

“The 4x400m medal in the summer was great but I trained as a heptathlete and that’s the medal that I really want and it will mean quite a lot to get it.”

Thursday’s ceremony was the second time a Beijing medal has been handed retrospectively to Sotherton, who collected her relay bronze last year after Chernova’s disqualification.

She also won heptathlon bronze in Athens in 2004.

“It’ll close a chapter of my athletics career,” said Sotherton.

“Receiving a medal 10 years after I should have got it is a little bittersweet but it indicates the career I had and it will finally confirm me as a three-time Olympic medallist.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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