Four-time Scottish Open fencing champion Lisa McKenzie is suiting up for a busy autumn after recovering from a hip injury.
The 23-year-old University of Edinburgh Physics student, who receives funding support from national sports scholarships Winning Students, is set to make a full return to the domestic and international circuit.
Doctors have confirmed McKenzie does not require an operation on the hip which hampered her chances of finding any form last season and the 2010 Commonwealth Championship silver medallist has already hinted at a potential successful recovery, finishing third at the London Open in June.
She said: “The result in London was surprising and unexpected. It was nice to find that, having little to no training, I can still come out with a great result when I have to. I feel like I’ve still got it, which is great.
“I recently sat down with my coach – who also happens to be my dad – to go through my calendar now that I know I don’t have to sit out the season. I want to get back into peak fitness, train hard and make sure that my international results improve.”
McKenzie will have to watch from the stands when the Team GB fencers take to the London 2012 piste, but thoughts of making the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are still high on her agenda.
“I’ve actually just purchased a ticket to watch the fencing in London and a lot of my good friends will be competing,” added McKenzie. “Some of the Brits have had very good results leading up to London, so I think it’s looking promising. It is every athlete’s goal to qualify for an Olympic Games and I’m not different.”
For now, McKenzie’s focus is on starting her season strongly with the British Championships in October then the Scottish Open in her home city in early 2013.
McKenzie said: “I’m definitely targeting win number five in the Scottish Open. I always compete in it every year as it’s in Edinburgh and it’s important to me – it’s certainly an event I don’t want to miss.
“I’m going back to my studies this year as I took two years out to train. I really enjoy Physics and am glad to be getting a degree but fencing is my one true love and I definitely hope to turn professional.”
Winning Students currently supports more than 120 talented athletes across 31 Scottish colleges and universities, providing funding support and academic flexibility. Find out more at: www.winningstudents-scotland.ac.uk
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