London 2012

Whist at school Nicola was in nearly every school team including netball, hockey, basketball, tennis and more - but athletics has always been her main love. Her Mum encouraged her to join the local athletics club that she herself was a member. Nicola has a degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Loughborough University.

Fascinating facts

  • Nicola is learning Spanish
  • Her first job was a paper round after school.

After showing great promise as a 400m hurdler, Nicola was forced to focus on the flat 400m because of persistent back and hamstring injuries. The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne was her last major championships at the 400m hurdles, but having run sub-51 seconds indoors for 400m, the transition to the flat was a great success.

Sanders won the AAA Championships in the summer of 2006 but the 26-year-old came to prominence in the 2007 campaign. Nicola had the fastest time in the world prior to the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham of 50.60 but it was clear that she had the potential to run faster. In the final in Birmingham she blasted to a British record of 50.02.

After this great indoor campaign, Nicola was unfortunately badly affected by a persistent Achilles injury in the early stages of her summer campaign. This injury forced her to miss the European Cup. However, later that year in the final of the 2007 World Championships, Sanders was off the pace in the first 200m and looked out of contention but the European Indoor champion came into the reckoning in the final 100m, snatching the silver medal in a lifetime best of 49.65. Nicola added to this medal when she ran a storming last leg to anchor the British team to the bronze medal in the 4x400m relay.

In 2008 injuries limited Nicola's racing schedule she Nicola was eliminated in the semi-final stages of the 400m in Beijing, but ran a season's best of 50.71, followed by a sub-50 relay leg in the 4x400m relay final. In 2009 and 2010 injury interrupted her season yet again. However, in 2010 Nicola managing to finish second at the Aviva European Trials & UK Championships and won the bronze medal for 4x400m relay at the European Championships.

Nicola will be blogging for Sky Sports. Read more from her here