IAAF World Relay Championships, Bahamas 2014

Hello! So I have just returned from a whirlwind trip that took me around the other side of the world and back again within a week! This was to compete for Australia at the first ever IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in which I was selected as part of the women's 4x400m team. The 4x400m team was made up of Morgan Mitchell (400m - VIC), Jess Gulli (400m hurdle - VIC), Lyndsay Pekin (400m hurdles- WA), and myself (400m - NSW). After two and a half days of travel through America and the Caribbean, we arrived in the beautiful balmy Nassau in the Bahamas. As this was the first time the event had ever been held, we really didn't know what to expect but as soon as we arrived we were stunned with how professional and happy everyone was to have us there! The Bahamians really put on a great show and we were very well looked after. Particularly on the accommodation side of things...

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Our races were scheduled for Saturday afternoon (the 4x400m preliminary heat) and Sunday night (the 4x400m A and B Finals). Unfortunately after receiving the lane draws for the preliminary round we discovered that we had landed the hardest heat with USA, Jamaica, England and Poland, all who had sent their top teams. This was going to make it very tough for our team to get through to the A Final. Considering it was the first time we had ever run as a team, we exceeded everyone's expectations by running a great time (3:30.90) and coming 6th in the heat. I ran the first leg and handed the baton to Jess Gulli, who in turn passed it onto Lyndsay Pekin, and then it was on to Morgan Mitchell to bring it home.

ImageUnfortunately our place was not enough to run in the A final (annoyingly if we had've been in the other heat our time would have made it through!!) But nevertheless we were through to the B Final and still had very quality teams to run against in Canada, the Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago.

We changed a few of the positions in our team to ensure we had smooth changes and possible a better chance. The new order was 1st leg: Me, 2nd leg: Morgan Mitchell, 3rd leg: Jess Gulli, 4th leg: Lyndsay Pekin.

Everyone ran exceptionally well and we managed to pass the baton in the lead at each change. The enormous crowd that filled the stadium was on their feet cheering for the Bahaman team, it was so loud but amazing at the same time! We extended the lead in the last leg and won the race from the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago in a very similar time to the day before, 3:31.10 sec. It was such a gutsy run from everyone and that made it even more exciting to win the race as a team. The experience has given us a lot of confidence and a lot of things to learn before we compete again at the Commonwealth Games in August. It definitely brought us together and makes us very hungry to do well at the Games.

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You can watch the videos of each race here:

Day One (Skip ahead to 2hrs 22mins for our entry to the track)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Shy_BRqAU&w=560&h=315]

 

Day Two (Skip ahead to 32mins)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHHvVojVQjc&w=560&h=315]

 

I met some amazing athletes and gained so much from the experience, it has made me that much more excited to head overseas to Europe to finalise my Commonwealth Games preparations.

The final Commonwealth Games Team selection is announced this Monday the 2nd of June, which I am hoping to be officially selected in the 400m individual, and the 4x400m team. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for every body's support! Please enjoy this slideshow of photos from my trip.

 

A. xx

Comm Games qualifier, PB and a Silver medal!

Hi Guys

WOW what a weekend....!

The Australian Championships & Commonwealth Games selection trials were on last weekend in Melbourne and I ran the 400m and 200m. Going into the Championships I was pretty confident I had a chance to take out the gold medal in the 400m, but due to inconsistent weather conditions down at Melbourne I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get the Commonwealth Games qualifier too. What resulted was not what I was expecting but I am very happy nonetheless.

On the thursday night I ran the 400m heat and was able to run pretty conservatively and save up my energy for the final on the Saturday night. I ran a 54.31 and was drawn lane 6 for the final. Over the weekend we were pretty lucky it wasn't forecasted to rain but unfortunately that's where our luck finished! Cold wind swirled around the track all afternoon the day of the race and was not ideal conditions for fast times.

I felt really good going into the race, no real injury niggles and my training had been going really well. Caitlin Sargent, my main competitor from QLD was 2 lanes inside me, and a young girl from Melbourne, Morgan Mitchell, was on the lane inside me so I knew I would have to focus on my own race and not get distracted by what they were or weren't doing!
I did just that and ended up with a silver medal in a new PB of 52.35 seconds! Unfortunately I didn't judge the timing of the end of my race exactly right so I finished with a bit left in the tank, and I was only 0.13 seconds behind the winner Morgan. But I was extremely ecstatic with the result because my time was the exact Commonwealth Games 'B' qualifier!

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The fact that I didn't win meant I couldn't be automatically selected in the team, but I will have to wait until June 1st for the final selection announcement.
I am pretty confident of an individual selection, and am certain that our relay team (which I will be a part of) has a good chance to make the final and maybe even medal in Glasgow!

The next day I had 2 rounds of the 200m to get through, and even though I was on a bit of cloud nine having run the qualifying standard, I had to re-focus and get back into racing mode.
I ran through the heats relatively easily and secured a place in the final. I ended up running a really good 200m and finishing strongly enough to take out the bronze medal in 23.88 seconds! The time wasn't quick because we had a strong headwind but I was extremely happy to finish the weekend with two medals.

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If you want to watch my races, here is the links

400m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO759kAtRDc&feature=youtu.be

200m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0cDGhyptpw&feature=youtu.be

Now I am going back into hard training for three months before heading overseas in June. With lots of things to work on and improve in my race I am very confident I will be able to run some fast times if selected to go to Glasgow and am very excited to get to work!

Thanks everyone for your messages of support over the last couple of months! It really has helped me push to be a better athlete and to compete for Australia this year at the Games.

Love A.x