Breen has Olympic qualifying time taken off her
By David Polkinghorne
April 30, 2012
Canberra's Melissa Breen again fell short of the Olympic A-qualifying time
in Japan after the race clock initially showed she had achieved the mark.
Photo: Getty Images
Japanese joy turned to despair for Canberra sprinter Melissa Breen when she cruelly had an Olympic Games A-qualifying time taken from her yesterday.
Breen stopped the clock in a time of 11.27 seconds in her 100-metre semi-final at the Oda Memorial, in Hiroshima, only for the judges to adjust it by 0.022s to 11.292s - just 0.002s outside the A-qualifying time for London.
It's believed her hand must've stopped the clock but the official time is calculated when your torso crosses the line.
After dealing with the disappointment she had to back it up in the final where she finished second in 11.36s.
Her coach, Matthew Beckenham, called a distraught Breen after the race.
''You can't getter any closer, it's as close as you can run without actually running the A. [It was] pretty tough to swallow initially. The fact is it's another personal best and she just keeps racking up consistent performances,'' he told The Canberra Times yesterday.
''I spoke to her straight after, she was not in the best state, so she did quite well to back up, being so close and just the heartache of seeing that time and then being told, 'Actually no, we're going to round it up to 11.30 and you don't have that time'.
''It'll be pretty heartbreaking for her.''
Beckenham leaves for Japan with Lauren Boden and Brendan Cole today and he hoped familiar faces would provide the boost Breen needs to slice the narrowest of margins off her time to get that Olympic spot.
He spent the 2011 summer reconstructing her technique in a bid to qualify.
So far she's managed everything but that, running seven times within 0.1s of the 11.29s A-qualifier and two within 0.2s.
Apart from emotional support Beckenham can't do much more, but he was proud of the professionalism the 21-year-old sprinter has shown this summer.
She'll travel to Shizuoka where she'll compete in 200m and 4x100m races on Thursday before travelling to Kawasaki for her next 100m assignment on Sunday.
Athletics Australia can still give her a discretionary selection for London, especially considering she'll probably be there for the women's 4x100m relay, but its current stance is she has to run the A-qualifier.
The Aussie women's 4x100m relay team is ranked 14th in the world and has to make the top 16 to qualify for London.