Pain of missing out motivation for Breen
BY JON TUXWORTH
04 Sep, 2011
TWO years ago, Melissa Breen sat despondent in the world championship grandstands, shattered she wasn't competing.
And the Canberra sprinter will use that heartbreak as motivation tonight when she spearheads Australia's 4x100m relay campaign.
Breen believes breaking the national record isn't beyond the Australians on the final day of world competition in Daegu.
Australia booked its place in the field by clocking 43.69sec at a Japanese meet in May.
The team's solid training form has convinced Breen the national benchmark of 42.99sec could be in danger.
The 20-year-old will run the second leg tonight, with champion hurdler Sally Pearson to run last.
World championship novices Hayler Butler and Carlotte van Veenendaal will run first and third respectively.
''Our goal is to run faster than Japan, which will help us get in the top 16 for Olympics,'' Breen said. ''We're all in better shape than we were in May so it [a national record] is realistic. It'll depend how we cope with nerves and the hype of world championships.
''I've talked about it with Sally and if we nail those changes, it's very possible. If we make the final that would be awesome, but it's just about getting that time down and qualifying for the Olympics.''
Breen finished a disappointing 14th at last year's Commonwealth Games, her first major international meet.
She insists that experience has her better prepared to handle the big stage tonight.
''That experience is going to help me a great deal,'' she said.
''In 2009, as well, I was selected but didn't run fast to compete, which was heartbreaking.
''If I have any nerves I'll think about then, and being forced to sit in the grandstand and watch.
''There's always going to be hard times in any athlete's career, and there's times where you think, 'Is it really worth it?'
''But the good times are worth every ounce of tears and sacrifice.''