By Bonny Symons-Brown
Sydney Morning Herald
October 4, 2010
Australian sprinter Melissa Breen may be a track superstar in the making, but coach Matt Beckenham says she isn't the nation's next golden girl yet.
Breen, 20, will be Australia's only hope in the blue ribbon women's 100m at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, when the athletics competition gets under way on Wednesday.
Beckenham has high hopes for the youngest of his three elite charges in Delhi, who also include 400m hurdlers Lauren Boden and Brendan Cole, but doesn't think she's reached her peak yet.
"There is no denying she's got talent upon talent and she can potentially be a superstar, but there is a period of time you need to serve," he told AAP.
Breen broke onto the athletics scene as a teenager when she ran the fastest 100m by an Australian women of 2008, clocking 11.33 seconds at an inter-club meet in Canberra.
But that first taste of success was short-lived, with the young sprinter failing to meet the village entry requirements to join the Australian world championships team in Berlin in 2009.
Beckenham said it was a devastating time for Breen, whose current overseas tour is reminding her of that bitter disappointment once again.
"She completely forgot how to run basically, because her mind was just stress city. (Berlin) wasn't a great experience," he said.
"To be honest, she's still dealing a little bit with what happened last year because the demons have come back up."
Breen, who could do no better than eighth in the 100m in 11.58 at the Continental Cup in Croatia last month, admits she is struggling in the unfamiliar conditions and is impatient to find her form.
"I've had a few races over here that haven't been great by any means," she said.
"I'm obviously so comfortable running in Canberra and running in Australia and you come over here and it's so different.
"It's really having that gut instinct of racing. Some people like (100m hurdler) Sally Pearson, they've just got it, and I'm still learning that."