Becky James determined to fulfil Rio Olympic dream

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Becky James determined to claim a place in the 2016 GB Olympic track cycling team after missing out on London 2012.

Becky James is determined to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio after missing out on London 2012 and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The 24-year-old from Abergavenny is in the GB team at the Track World Cup in New Zealand this weekend.

James last rode for GB in 2014, but since then has had surgery to remove abnormal cells following a cervical screening, and suffered a knee injury.

"I really, really, really want to go to Rio," she told BBC Wales Today.

"It's been a hard cycle missing out on London and on Glasgow, so all this hard work has got to be worth it. I'm really hoping to be there whatever the event."

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James won the sprint and keirin titles at the 2013 World Championships in Belarus.

However, since then her career has been severely disrupted first by a health scare and then by shoulder and knee injuries which kept her out of contention for national selection for nearly two years.

Injury also denied her a chance to compete at the London Olympics after she first emerged onto the international scene by winning silver and bronze medals for Wales at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

James made her track comeback in August after 18 months out, and with Olympic qualifying points up for grabs is determined to make an impression in New Zealand.

Becky James waves the British flag
Becky James won two gold medals at the 2013 World Championships

"It's really good to be racing again," she added.

"The nationals were only three weeks ago and obviously I'm looking forward to being back in the World Cup.

"It's been a hard ride. When I look back at where I was this time last year I would not have seen myself racing again now because it was really tough and I couldn't imagine myself being back in it.

"I've gone through the hard phase of training and getting into shape and feeling like a bike rider again.

"I'm feeling like my old self again and looking forward to racing again.

"Nine months out from Rio, if I sort of look back to where I was nine months out from being double world champion then I'd probably I was hardly doing any training at all because I'd just had my appendicitis and I was just building up.

"But I know the rest of the world has moved on so that's going to be a hard thing for me because I just don't have to get back to where I was being a double world champion, I need to be better than that and I know there is a lot of hard work to do so this is a starting point."

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