Hello all! Sorry for the delay in writing any blogs this trip, I've been flat out with all the travel, training and preparations! But a lot has happened in the last few weeks so I will try to bring you up to speed.
Firstly, one month ago in the Sunshine Coast the relay girls and I had a training camp and raced each other over a 400m. Very surprisingly, I ran a personal best time of 52.29 seconds which bumped me up very close to the top 48 in the world! This meant all of a sudden I was very close to qualifying for the World Championships in the individual 400m. Even though I had been training really well this race was a bit of a surprise because it was on a very casual Sunday morning meet, I had a cold, and was basically running out on my own!! So I knew from this race that I had a lot more in the tank. So then a nervous 2 weeks would ensue waiting to find out if I would be selected or not. Either way, I knew I was selected as part of the relay so I was preparing to travel to Tokyo in the beginning of August regardless.
I packed up and left Sydney to meet the relay team in Tokyo still not knowing my fate in the individual 400m. However, just as I landed in Japan I turned my phone on to see that I'd been selected for the individual 400m as well as the relay! Very exciting! That weekend I raced in Tokyo over the one-lap to prepare for the World Championships, and to my surprise I ran another PB of 52.20 seconds.
This is a great sign leading into the World Champs showing that I'm in the best shape of my life and ready to go really fast.
We then met up with the whole Australian team in Osaka, Japan for our Australian Team Training Camp. This is usually 1-2 weeks before the major Championship to allow the athletes to finalise their training and preparations in a professional environment with all of the team staff, physios and coaches at hand. I trained really well and acclimatised to the incredibly hot and humid conditions quickly which I was pleased with! It also involved a few media commitments which is always a bit of fun too.
Next up we flew into Beijing for the World Championships!! There has been a lot of drama and questions about whether the air quality in China was going to be unhealthy for athletes to compete in. However since we've been here they have shut down the factories and halved the amount of cars on the road. The first day was slightly smoggy but since then (and you can see in the pics below) it has been nothing but blue skies and beautiful weather so it should be great conditions to run in!
We are staying in a hotel with a bunch of different countries such as Russia, Ethiopia, Poland, and Kenya and this is only about 5mins from the Birds Nest. We can even see it from our room! It's really exciting to know I am running in such an incredible stadium and that holds so much Olympic history.
So now down to business... I am running in Heat 1, lane 4 at 10.45am Beijing time (12.45 Sydney time). They are taking the top 3 in each heat, and then the next 6 fastest times through to the semi-finals. It is aired on Eurosport live, and also SBS 2 have a highlights package each day. There is a live stream (but not sure if it's available in Aus): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK54EO7U_eGh-Ch1db4OaZg It will be really tough to progress out of the heats l due to the depth and quality of athletes here but I am confident in my fitness and think I have a great opportunity to break the 52 second barrier!! Hopefully that will give me a shot at making it to the semi finals.
You can read my heat draw (running against Allyson Felix the Olympic 200m Champion) here: http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/15th-iaaf-world-championships-4875/results/women/400-metres/heats/startlist
Wish me luck!!