Mark Lewis-Francis claimed today he never really contemplated retirement despite having his National Lottery funding cut and he is fully focused on making a major impact in 2010.

The 27-year-old, a member of Britain's Olympics gold medal-winning 4x100 metres relay team in Athens in 2004, saw his funding taken away last month.

It followed two years of Achilles tendon problems, including an operation.

Initially the Birchfield Harriers runner claimed he did not know if he could carry on with financial support but now after securing a sponsorship deal with Global Sponsorship Group, a company that matches corporate sponsors with sports men and women, which will cover all his medical costs.

Lewis-Francis said: "The plan was always to get on with the winter and come out for next season.

"There was never retirement on the agenda.

"I've just joined Linford Christie's training group and things have gone really well.

"For me to retire would be a big mistake, because I've got so much more in the legs to give.

"I've not fulfilled my dreams yet in track and field so it would be pointless to retire right now.

"The years I was injured were my worst years of performance.

"Before the operation I was performing and I was doing all right, I was running decent times.

"And I do believe I've still got that in my legs."

There is plenty for Lewis-Francis to aim for in 2010, including the World Indoor Championships in Doha, the European Championships in Barcelona and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

He said: "It's a 'go for everything' situation.

"It would be nice to see myself on the team.

"I can't see why I can't make the team.

"I still believe that I still got the ability to go out there and perform.

"Talent never goes away.

"I've just got to train that little bit harder to find it."

Article courtesy of Inside the Games.