The choice of London as host city for the 2012 Olympic Games has handed Birchfield Harriers' sprint champion, Mark Lewis-Francis, the chance to end his career by taking individual gold in front of a British audience.
The Darlaston-born athlete, who anchored Great Britain's 4x100m relay team to glory in Athens last summer, has welcomed the IOC's decision and said that it had given him the perfect opportunity to go out of the sport on the highest note possible.
Lewis-Francis will be 29 when the games come around and doesn't feel that he will be too old to make an impact on the world stage. "It's every athletes dream to compete at an Olympic Games but to have the chance to do it in your home country is just unbelievable," he said.
"Personally, I remember the fantastic atmosphere in Manchester and I'm delighted the British fans will get the chance to be such a major part of the best sporting event in the world," he said in reference to the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
He will hope, however, that both the London Olympiad, and the one before that in Beijing in three years' time, will be kinder to him than those Commonwealth championships were. The 22-yearold failed to finish in the 100m final after pulling a hamstring as Kim Collins raced away to take the title.
Lewis-Francis is keen to use his success in the team event in Greece as a springboard for success in the individual event. He said: "For me, it gives me added incentive and the chance to end my career at an Olympic Games in my home county. It's something I never dreamt I'd have the chance to do and I'm already looking forward to it!"
Fellow Olympian Tim Benjamin, who ran in the 4x400m last summer, also drew parallels with Manchester and said that the fact that the Games were coming to London intensified his desire. He said: "I was lucky enough to experience competing in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and I know how much it inspired all the British athletes so for the Olympics to be coming to London in 2012 is a dream come true.
"Having the Olympics here will also inspire a whole new generation of British athletes and that's great for British sport. I'll be 29 by then and the thought of having the chance to compete for an Olympic gold in London is all the motivation I need."