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Jana Rawlinson's secret training sessions

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Jana Rawlinson's secret training sessions
By Jessica Halloran
The Sunday Telegraph
March 13, 2011


AFTER a six-year absence from Australian tracks, Jana Rawlinson is fit and primed for a possible comeback at Sydney Olympic Park this Saturday.

The two-time world champion has been training the house down in Melbourne under the veil of secrecy.

She does not want to draw attention to herself until she is ready to race after being dogged by injury since the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Rawlinson is determined to ensure the focus this season is on her running.

There has been speculation about when the 400m hurdles champion will return to the track, but no-one within her team is prepared to confirm when that will be.

Rawlinson has politely declined all interview requests through her new manager and mentor Jane Flemming.

When contacted yesterday, Athletics Australia head coach Eric Hollingsworth said he still did not have confirmation that Rawlinson will run at the Sydney Track Classic.

It is understood she is ready to make her first appearance in Australia since the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The 28-year-old has her heart set on competing at the world championships this August and in the London Olympics next year.

She has been spied training in Melbourne and is said to look extremely fit. If she does run this Saturday, it will be either over the 400m flat or her favoured 400m hurdles.

Australian athletics great Melinda Gainsford-Taylor believes that despite Rawlinson's lengthy absence from competition because of a litany of injuries, she could challenge for gold on the world stage.

"She's not only a talented athlete, but she is tenacious," Gainsford-Taylor said.

"If she wants to make it back, I don't doubt it for a moment that she won't. She's been training in Melbourne. It's good to hear. I would love to see her not only competing at the world champs but definitely competing at the London Olympics."

Rawlinson is renowned for her determination and won her second world title in Osaka eight months after giving birth to son Cornelis in 2007.

Gainsford-Taylor said she had seen Rawlinson in the gym in Melbourne.

"She looked really, really fit," Gainsford-Taylor said.

"I would love to see her back on track. Our sport needs it. I think she's got some unfinished business - there's lots she can achieve, and hopefully we will see that.

"It would be great to see her back doing what she does best. It would be wonderful to see her in the Australian team again."

Rawlinson arrived back in Australia five weeks ago and went through a series of tests with AA medical staff to ensure her troublesome body is back in working order.


Jana's name is yet to appear in the Sydney Classic entry list.

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