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Charlotte van Veenendaal has started training with
Brendon Smith’s stable of world-class boxers in
preparation for the IAAF World Championships.
Sprinter gets help from boxing duo
By Tim Braban
25th May 2011
TOOWOOMBA sprinter Charlotte van Veenendaal has enlisted the help of world-championship winning duo Brendon Smith and Michael Katsidis in her quest for international success.
Van Veenendaal is a member of the Australian 4x100 metre women's relay team that qualified for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, with a blistering time of 43.69 seconds at the Kawasaki Golden Grand Prix meet in Japan earlier this month.
With three months to go until the championships, van Veenendaal, 23, is back in Toowoomba with coach Gerrard Keating preparing for the biggest meet of her young career.
Keating came up with the idea of van Veenendaal training at Smithy's Gym alongside Smith's stable of boxers, including Katsidis, to give his charge a competitive edge heading into her first major international athletics meet.
“It's something different that boxing mentality, and if she can get that there's no stopping her,” Keating said.
“So much of it, especially in the 100m sprints, is mental and if you have that chink you can be found out.”
And van Veenendaal is already brimming with confidence after only a few sessions at Smithy's Gym.
“Like Brendon said to me, when Mick (Katsidis) is fighting it's just him out there.
"The coach can only do so much to get you ready for it,” van Veenendaal said.
“If I'm at the start line and I look across at girls that are bigger and stronger than me and think ‘oh crap', I've already lost.
"But if I think to myself ‘I've done the training' and worry about what I can do then I've got a shot.”
After smashing the IAAF 44-second qualifying time at Kawasaki, van Veenendaal believes the Australian team, which includes Melissa Breen, Laura Whaler and Sally Pearson, has a huge shot at the World Championships.
“We played our changes safe (at Kawasaki)... we have a lot more to give,” van Veenendaal said.
“Our new goal is to make the final and that's a real possibility.”
“If we can get there anything is possible.”
In another boost to the Toowoomba sprinter, van Veenendaal's success with the 4x100m relay team has also led to her being recognised as a developing international athlete by the Queensland Academy of Sports which has offered her a tier-three scholarship.