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PROTRACK » GENERAL » After 2009 World Champs, Offereins can't wait to do it again

After 2009 World Champs, Offereins can't wait to do it again

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WARMING UP: Sprinter Ben Offereins is ready for an assault on the World Championships. Picture: Richard Hatherly Source: PerthNow

It's Ben a while for sprinter Offereins

By Glen Foreman
The Sunday Times
August 13, 2011

IT is time for Ben Offereins to go back to where it all began - and that place, for the sprinter, is the world championships.

Offereins might have won his first national title in 2005 but the real beginning of his career came in Berlin at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

Offereins was down on his luck, injured and recovering from a car crash after being dumped from his WA Institute of Sport contract due to poor results.

He did not compete at the 2009 national championships, which doubled as the Worlds selection trials, and thus was not among the initial team of 39 selected for Berlin. But there was a lifeline Athletics Australia left one spot open for the relay and after refocusing with his coach, Offereins made one last charge at a maiden world titles berth.

The 12 months that followed were groundbreaking for the runner.

Offereins made the Berlin team and, after being given an opportunity to perform in the heats, put in the run of his life in the third leg to rescue the team from last place, lifting it into the final, before replicating the sprint to help the men win Australia's first world relay medal with bronze.

He then remained unbeaten throughout the domestic season to clinch the 2010 national title, setting the track alight earlier that year with a world-topping PB of 44.86sec.

Now the 2011 world titles loom in a fortnight and Offereins leaves Perth bound for Daegu, South Korea, on Friday. After a disappointing end to 2010, he is in the best shape of his career and is looking to recapture the form that turned heads in Berlin.

"I don't know how to describe it, that elation," Offereins said of the 2009 bronze. "Winning a bronze medal in front of 70,000 people, that's pretty cool. It gave me the confidence to know I could run those times and it was a snowball effect.

"Training's probably been the best it's ever been. If you just took the times that (the Australian 400m contingent) has been running recently, it's not good, let's be honest. None of us have broken 45sec, some of us have run 47, but come world champs, anything can happen."s"Yeah, the best I've run recently is 46.4sec, but I know I'm in much better shape than that and it could be the exact same thing for the other boys.

"The boys will be fired up and it's times like (world titles) that that get you fired up and you just run well."

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