NICOLA Sanders admits that missing out on an individual berth at London 2012 was a bitter pill to swallow but the 400m runner is now totally focused on bringing home a relay medal instead.

Sanders, a world silver medallist in the individual event back in 2007, has endured aN injury and illness ravaged season that meant she never came close to running the Olympic A standard.

But of late her form appears to be returning and she ran in both the semi-finals and the final of the 4x400m relay at the European Championships earlier this month that saw them agonisingly edged into fourth.

That quartet for the final of Sanders, Shana Cox, Eilidh Child and Lee McConnell appears likely to change at the Olympics with defending Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton both likely to return.

Sanders knows therefore that she faces a real battle just to make the quartet, but if she can do it the 30-year-old is confident that a podium place is well within their grasp.

“There have been mixed emotions being called up for the relay team but not the individual,” she said. “I wasn’t surprised of not being picked because I wasn’t pick-able! I hadn’t done the qualifying time. They couldn’t pick me even if there was a spare spot so it was never going to happen.

“It’s irrelevant of who else is running fast. I’m not running the times that I know I can. A few years ago I was running times which meant I wouldn’t have even have had to think of the other girls. It has been difficult not running the times I know I can.

“We are always medal contenders in the relay. We are always in that top four normally, but the top trio of American, Jamaica and Russia usually prove hard to penetrate.

“But when we have been at the top of our game we have done it. It is going to be really difficult but hopefully with the home crowd that will give us that extra boost.

“Hopefully we can get a good block of training in now and the individual girls run themselves into good shape as well.

“It will be a big ask but we have got a chance and I think we will be there or thereabouts.”

While the frustration of missing out on the individual event is still fairly fresh for Sanders the relay will be a welcome distraction.

And the WSEH athlete admits that she is already targeting some events post the Olympics to get her individual one-lap running back up to scratch.

“I am training well now and hope to get a run in the relay and then race a few times afterwards to get something out of the season,” she added.

“I had the most consistent training over the winter. Normally I have a few setbacks but actually the whole winter was pretty good.”

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