Nikki Hamblin doesn't want to look back in anger. After a difficult split with her coach at the turn of the year, the 22-year-old is enjoying a new regime and sounding positive about the year ahead.

Hamblin won two medals on the track in Delhi - the first Kiwi woman to do so in one meet since 1982 - but had an often fractious relationship with former coach Chris Pilone. The duo parted company in January after mediation failed to resolve their differences.

"It was tough at the time," admits Hamblin. "We had worked together for four or five years and knew each other well so it was hard.

"Chris took me from zero to the Commonwealth Games and I still have a lot of respect for him as a coach. Change is always going to be scary - you don't know whether it's going to work or not and that can produce doubts in your mind."

So far, however, change has been good. Hamblin has regained her passion for running and "getting out there hurting myself day after day".

Her new coach Paul Hamblyn finished fourth in the 1500m at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and acted as a training partner for her before Delhi.

"He has first-hand experience of being an athlete and being out there, doing it. I think that definitely helps. I trust in him and I trust in his programme. I think he can take me to where I want to go."

The desired destination is London in 2012 and that journey starts over the next four months, when Hamblin will be based in Europe. It will be her third Northern Hemisphere campaign and, hopefully, her best yet.

"I'm in a good place to go overseas this year. Last year I had spent a couple of months injured and I was a little bit underdone. The year before that was my first time overseas so I had no idea what to expect."

As an additional boost, Hamblin was recently named as one of six New Zealand athletes to receive an Olympic scholarship, worth US$29,000 ($36,000). Hamblin works in a Cambridge bookshop, and this support will enable her to cut back on those hours.

"It was tough when you are training twice a day," she says.

"A seven-hour work day is not ideal when your competitors are sitting on the couch with their feet up or in an ice bath and you are on your feet serving people. I enjoy the job but if you want to make an Olympic final everything has to be focussed on that."

The measuring stick this year will come at August's world championships in South Korea. She demonstrated her potential at the Commonwealth Games, but will need to continue to improve her times significantly to compete at that level.

"I'm looking forward to racing against girls who have already been in Olympic and world championship finals and really test myself against them," she says.

"I definitely need to make sure I am in a position to do that come August." Of everything that has happened to her since Delhi, Hamblin says the most memorable happened on a Cambridge street during a quiet Saturday morning.

A man stopped to congratulate her on the achievements, and told her that watching her storm home for silver had brought him to tears.

"I was stunned," says Hamblin. "Sometimes being an athlete is such a closed little world. You are so focused on yourself and you don't really look outside of that and appreciate what it means to other people around you."