Hey guys, Very excited to announce I've been selected in the Australian Track & Field team for the 2016 Rio Olympics!
I've had a big few weeks following my selection so I'll try to re-cap quickly.
The week after Easter, Sydney hosted the Australian National Athletic Championships & Olympic Trials which ended up being a huge weekend! I ran the 400m heats on Thursday night, and the 400m final on Saturday (which was also Lachlan's Birthday!) As I had run under the qualifying standard of 52.20 three times already, all I needed to do at the trials was win (to gain automatic selection), or come in the top three (to gain discretionary selection).
Unfortunately I came down with the flu Wednesday night so was bed ridden most of the weekend when I wasn't running! This wasn't ideal as my final preparations had been going really well and felt like I was extremely fit and ready to go.
Regardless of this, I ran the final as hard as I could and finished third behind Morgan Mitchell and Jess Thornton. I was pretty contented with this result, although it wasn't the time or result I was hoping for, I knew it could have been a lot worse! Placing in the top three also meant that I was still able to be selected that weekend. So we all waited with our fingers crossed...
Athletics Australia Selection Gala Night
On the Sunday Night at the conclusion of the Olympic Trials, Athletics Australia hosted a Gala Night to announce the selected members of the Olympic Team. Mum, Dad, Lachlan and I sat on a table with my best friend Ella Nelson and her parents. Ella ran three qualifying standards and won the Trials very impressively so was automatically selected which was extremely exciting! The night was very well organised and really built an Olympic atmosphere, they played videos of all past Olympic Games and had numerous stories of Olympic 'great' moments. After dinner, all the retired Olympians in the room stood up and formed a guard of honour (which Lachlan was part of!!) to celebrate with the selected athletes as they walked on stage to collect their Qantas 'boarding pass' to Rio.
I was on the edge of my seat with Mum and Dad waiting and hoping my name would be called out...I'm pretty sure we were all shaking with nerves! Finally, Bruce McAveny announced as part of the Sprint Group, in the 400m 'Anneliese Rubie' !!! YAY! I started balling my eyes out and couldn't stop crying (unfortunately for all the photos), and gave Lach a hug as I walked through the guard of honour and was given my boarding pass. Was one of the best moments of my life so far.
Back into training
Since then, I have had a few days off training to recover from the flu and let my body rest. I then made a quick trip to Melbourne to start training with my coach and planning for the next 4 months. I'm in for a tough couple of months training now which will set me up perfectly to start racing in June in Europe. Then the team meets up in Miami, Florida in July for our final preparation camp, then finally moving into Rio in August! It's all very exciting, and I still have to pinch myself every now and then.
Classroom of Hope Fundraising
Lastly, I am fundraising for a charity called Classroom of Hope through their Bag Walkers campaign. They have dispersed 50 bags (that look like school bags) around the world to ambassadors to raise funds for children in Rwanda. Kids in a small village called Gitumba have to walk 5 hours everyday just to get to a school, the walk is unsafe and too long! Classroom of Hope are fundraising to build a school in their village, and so I have pledged to walk 10km with my bag....as the saying goes "walk a mile in their shoes". Every child deserves the right to safe and accessible education, so if anyone has some spare change, I'd appreciate it if you could head over to my fundraising page and donate. Every small amount helps and I'm trying to reach a goal of $1,000.
Thanks very much for reading, look forward to updating you along my road to Rio!