Sotherton hopes to receive outstanding Olympic medals in London this summer

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Kelly Sotherton hopes she could finally receive her two outstanding Olympic bronze medals in front of a home crowd this summer.

Sotherton, 41, initially finished fifth in the heptathlon at the 2008 Beijing Games, but has now twice been upgraded following doping bans.

Lyudmila Blonska was stripped of her silver medal and, in December 2017, Russian Tatyana Chernova saw her appeal against her ban dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The International Olympic Committee has yet to officially announce when Sotherton, who placed third at the 2004 Athens Games, will be awarded the heptathlon bronze from Beijing.

Sotherton is also set to receive another as part of Britain’s 4×400 metres relay squad in China after Russia and Belarus were subsequently thrown out for doping violations.

“With the 4×4, I think we will potentially be getting that in the summer at the Anniversary Games in London, although that is not 100 per cent confirmed,” Sotherton told Press Association Sport.

“Regarding the heptathlon medal, in December CAS upheld the decision, so the IOC has to officially announce (it), whether they will be doing that over in Pyeongchang (for the Winter Olympics) when the executive board will get together, I am not entirely sure, but I would like to think that I would receive that this summer.

“It is my medal, but when I am getting it, I don’t know.”

Sotherton feels it would be fitting if she and the rest of the British relay squad were to be handed their medals in London this summer, just as happened during 2017 for the likes of former heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill – and so give them all a long-overdue moment to cherish.

“I got some negative comments when I found out I had won (the 2008 heptathlon Olympic medal) because I mentioned I would love to get it in the Olympic Stadium,” added Sotherton.

“They said ‘well, it is not gold, it is only bronze so shut up and get back in your box’.

“I was like, well, okay that is fine – but for me, if I had won them at the time, I would have celebrated them. So now why can’t I celebrate them, something that I should have won 10 years ago?

“What was really good was seeing, at the World Championships last year in London, everybody getting their medals from IAAF championships in the past who had been upgraded, to see the crowd applaud – especially when Jo Pavey, Jess (Ennis-Hill) and the 4×4 boys get their medals.

“Yes, it wasn’t at the time (they would have won them) and it would have been great then, but they had 50-60,000 people applauding them – and it was a genuine applause because it was a British crowd, so that is a bit of a bonus.

“It would be nice, especially for our 4×4 team because two of them haven’t been on the Olympic podium before, so for Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders, it is going to be a special moment for them, and so it should be.”

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