Having achieved my position on the World Juniors team, it was back to Sydney for my first hit out at the Australian Open Championships, which were also the qualifiers for inclusion in the Australian Athletics Team for the Rio Olympics. With entry in both the 400m and 200m events, the plan was very simple – I had nothing to lose and certainly everything to gain.
The 400m was first up. Having comfortably won my heat and with no semi-final, it was straight into the final. Wow, what a field of stars I was competing against. Morgan Mitchell and Anneliese Rubie, both already qualifying for the Rio Olympics, Caitlin Sargent-Jones, and Monica Brennan, all the top 5 ranked athletes vying for an individual and relay qualifying time. Not knowing what to expect or even how well I would go, this was my first opportunity to race against Australia’s finest female 400m sprinters. With Morgan on my inside I knew I had to go out hard. And hard I did. Around the 300m mark I could feel the pain and I could hear Morgan coming at me and eventually overtaking me. I knew I had to keep going to make the top 3 and earn automatic consideration for the 4 x 400m relay team at Rio. With the family cheering from the grandstand I pushed home as hard as I could placing 2nd with a personal best time of 52.33s. I was happy with the PB but at the same time frustrated with a 0.13s outside the individual Rio qualifying time.
Needless to say I was very happy for Morgan who has had an outstanding season so far and both Morgan and Anneliese will do Australia proud in the 400m event in Rio.
All my attention was now on the 200m. 2nd fastest qualifier behind my training partner Ella Nelson, I was hopeful she would push me home like she did in Canberra earlier in the year. Rio bound Ella didn’t disappoint me as I finished 2nd to her with a time of 23.27s. Just outside my PB and 0.07s short of qualifying for Rio. For Ella another qualifier and she too will do Australia proud in Rio.
My first Australian Open Championships over and two silver medals – not bad for a newcomer.