LONG TERM: Melissa Breen,20, is already focused on the 2016 Olympics.
'Ferrari' Breen is not in a hurry
By Damien Stannard
February 07, 2011
SPIRITED sprinter Melissa Breen must be the only elite track athlete on the planet who is not dreaming about London.
While most of her colleagues, including Delhi hurdles champion Sally Pearson, are aiming for gold at next year's Olympics, Breen is thinking even further ahead to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"If London doesn't happen that will suck. But my goal's Rio, that's when I want to break 11 seconds," Breen said.
"That's five years away and it will be worth it."
Brisbane is the first stop on the Australian Athletics Tour and Breen will join Pearson, world champion Dani Samuels, world championships bronze medallist Mitchell Watt and Commonwealth champion Alana Boyd as the headline acts on Friday night.
Canberra-based Breen ran 11.78 sec in her semi-final last year in Delhi but is capable of greater speed.
She has a personal best of 11.33 set more than two years ago as a schoolgirl and posted an 11.34 during the domestic season early last year.
To get faster, the 20-year-old and her coach Matt Beckenham have pulled her technique to bits, much like a Formula One pit crew stripping a Ferrari back to its chassis and starting over.
It is a slow, frustrating process for someone so used to scorching the earth but the national champion is prepared to wait.
"It was awesome running 11.3 but I want to run 10-something," Breen said. "And I can't do that if I keep running the way I'm running. So I've changed everything.
"It's a five-year plan to be ready to rock and roll."
Pearson and Breen will be pushed in the 100m at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre by Laura Whaler and New Zealand's Commonwealth Games hurdles bronze medallist Andrea Miller.
Also in the field is Charlotte van Veenendaal, who is hoping to kickstart her career after moving to Toowoomba from Manly last year.
The 22-year-old clocked 11.63 in the 100m and a personal best 23.86 in the 200m, both behind Pearson, at a meet on the Gold Coast last weekend.
"I've always been a bit out of place in the city," van Veenendaal said.
"I needed to be somewhere I could relax, and here in Toowoomba that's easier.
"I can get more out of training," she said.