Kathy Watt

Australia's former Olympic champion Kathy Watt will come out of a three-year retirement to begin her comeback bid for the Athens 2004 Games, the cyclist said.

"I really want to achieve another gold medal in cycling," Watt told reporters. "I've had a good break from racing and I'm really enthused about racing again.

"With age, I've also become a lot smarter in the way I train and I think that will help me as well." The 38-year-old professional sports photographer and personal trainer retired after failing in a legal challenge against her non-selection in Australia's team for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Watt became the first Australian woman to take an Olympic cycling gold medal when she won the women's road race at Barcelona in 1992. Remembered for her bottle-blonde hair and aggressive style, Watt was often in the headlines for her regular personality clashes with officials, particularly former national coach Charlie Walsh.

Watt said Walsh's departure from his coaching role in the Australia team was a factor in her comeback. "I never got a fair go under that system. I just hope things have changed and I'll know in a few months' time," Watt said.