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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Ben St Lawrence aims for world championships final

Ben St Lawrence aims for world championships final

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http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/ben-st-lawrence-aims-for-world-championships-final/2268778.aspx



Ben St Lawrence aims for world championships final

BY MICHAEL CLEGGETT
Blue Mountains Gazette
24 Aug, 2011


The draining conditions of South Korea await Ben St Lawrence as he aims for a berth in the 5000m final at the world athletics championships, beginning this weekend.

The former Bullaburra resident has been battling to reach peak fitness following an Achillies injury two months ago that forced him to miss three weeks of training.

An intimidating field will confront St Lawrence when he lines up for the heats on September 1 but the 29-year-old will be able to call on the confidence gained from a stunning past 12 months that has included Commonwealth Games finals and an Australian 10,000m record.

“The field isn’t getting any weaker, in fact it is potentially getting stronger with the rumoured return of the world record holder Keninesa Bekele as well as all the other top runners in the world. I still think I am a chance of making the final if I run well in the heat,” said St Lawrence.

Having recently quit his job in Sydney to focus full-time on running, St Lawrence has spent the past two months in Europe with Australian teammates to hone his racing skills. The injury setback meant meets in England, Italy and Belgium were replaced by intenseive altitude training in St Moritz, Switzerland — a not altogether bad alternative.

“It was an amazing place to train,” said St Lawrence of the picturesque resort town.

Preparation has included training in full sweatsuits during the northern summer to simulate the hot and humid conditions expected in Korea.

With the Achillies on the improve, St Lawrence was able to register promising — if not world-beating — times in London and Finland before leaving for Daegu, Korea at the end of last week.

St Lawrence’s most avid fans will be showing their support from the family home at Bullaburra with parents Garry and Pat last week telling the Gazette of their pride at seeing their son performing on the world stage.

Garry admitted things generally got a little lively when they watched Ben in action.

“There’s a fair bit of jumping around and shouting. It depends how he’s going of course but we get pretty excited when the races are coming to a close and we can see him closing in because he’s usually got a good kick at the end and that’s one of the things we look out for,” said Garry.

The 5000m heats will be run at 11.05am on September 1 with the final to follow on Sunday, September 4.

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