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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Melissa Breen runs 11.30 PB in Japan (11.292!)

Melissa Breen runs 11.30 PB in Japan (11.292!)

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Breen has Olympic qualifying time taken off her

By David Polkinghorne
Canberra Times
April 30, 2012

Melissa Breen runs 11.30 PB in Japan (11.292!) NC-breen-art-wd_20120429204245294190-420x0
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.

Running Man

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"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."

That would be really disappointing on behalf of AA if when the time comes and she hasn't run the qualifier they don't let her through. I couldn't understand the logic of saying "11.292 - sorry, not good enough" or "11.290 - welcome to the team and good luck in your individual 100m!" .002 just isn't enough of a gap to deny someone their dream and the Olympics of all places as well all know is the place where anything can happen so it won't always be the fastest to win and many find an extra level to rise to the occasion.

Maybe they plan to pick her anyway but are saying she has to run the A standard to give her an extra push towards that faster time. Either way she's doing great and best of luck to her.


Agree with RM.

I can't think of an athlete who has performed so consistently close to the A standard as Melissa Breen has.

I think it would be very disappointing if she was not running in the 100m at the Olympics.

At the moment she needs to run the time so AA can justify adding her to the team.

Let's hope the women's 4x 100m relay team remain in the top 16 so that AA send a team and Mel will be in London for the relay team. Then surely adding her to the individual event would not be such a problem.

"Let's Go While We're Young"



Breen best within a whisker of qualifying

David Polkinghorne
with AAP
Sydney Morning Herald
May 1, 2012

Melissa Breen runs 11.30 PB in Japan (11.292!) Ipad-art-wide-B15-20Breen-20ld-420x0
"The next time I run a PB it will be the time I need, and that makes me
laugh because I couldn't try any harder" ... Melissa Breen.
Photo: Getty Images

ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA will not guarantee Melissa Breen a ticket to the London Olympics despite the 100 metres sprinter coming within a fraction of a second of the women's A-qualifying time.

Breen ran a personal best of 11.292 seconds (rounded to 11.3s) in Hiroshima, Japan, at the weekend, not enough to guarantee her a spot on the Australian team.

The A-qualifying time is 11.29s, and the 21-year-old must shave the slenderest of margins off her time to be sure of getting picked.

Australia's fastest woman, Sally Pearson, will not run the 100m in London, focusing instead on the 100m hurdles. It's good news for Breen.

Pearson has an A-qualifying time in the 100m flat but if Athletics Australia doesn't nominate her, it can use a discretionary pick on one athlete with a B-qualifying time - which Breen has.

Athletics Australia chairman of selectors Dion Russell said a decision on discretionary selections wouldn't be made until June 11.

''She's certainly in the mix, she's on our radar, it's fair to say that. She's certainly one of the athletes that we're really focusing in on, obviously being so close to the time,'' he said.

Breen being an important cog in the women's 4x100m relay would weigh in her favour.

Russell met Breen's coach, Matthew Beckenham, yesterday before Beckenham flew to Japan . Breen has until the June deadline to shave another 0.01s off her personal best but has decided she will only have one more tilt, in Kawasaki on Sunday.

''The next time I run a PB it will be the time I need, and that makes me laugh because I couldn't try any harder,'' she said.

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