By Emily Goddard

Lisa Mason 180113January 18 - England's former Olympic gymnast Lisa Mason is to end her 12-year retirement in the hope of qualifying for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Aylesbury-born athlete, who turns 31 in February, won individual gold on the beam and team silver at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games and competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, where she finished 23rd in the all-around before quitting competitive sport.

Since retiring, Mason, who will compete at the English Championships in March, has worked as a coach and a choreographer and became a mother to Yalarna Elena, who is now seven, but the three-time British champion, admitted that London 2012 reignited her desire to return to gymnastics.

"I did a gala at the Olympics, back out on the floor," she told BBC Look East.

"I got a hunger for it and I realised I was still capable of doing the skills.

"My only issue was getting the fitness up.

"I've got nothing to lose.

"I'm enjoying it.

"I'm loving training again.

"I'm older and wiser.

"I'm a mum now so I'm not going out partying – I'm doing it because I want to do it and because I have faith that I can.

"It's going alright so far.

"I know it's a little bit crazy.

"Not a lot of people can do it, but if you can, why not?"

She joked: "I think getting back into a leotard scares me more than doing a full twist on the beam."

Lisa Mason 1801131Lisa Mason said that London 2012 reignited her passion for gymnastics

Although Mason has her sights firmly set on competing at Glasgow in two years' time, she admits she is not yet making plans for Rio 2016.

"Ideally I would make a Great Britain squad again," she said.

"I would love to compete at another Commonwealth Games.

"We have some fantastic youngsters coming up so I think for Rio we will have one of the strongest teams we've ever had.

"So Commonwealth is my aim."

Mason is continuing her training at Huntingdon Gym, the club at which she started aged five.

Coach Paul Hall, who also looks after London 2012 pommel horse silver medallist Louis Smith, believes her aims are realistic.

"I can only think of a handful of gymnasts across the world that have competed into their 30s," he said.

"She's in a minority.

"Given the opposition at the moment she's got every chance of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.

"If she trains well and can stave off injury she could possibly win a medal."

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