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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Lauren Boden to launch her season at Queanbeyan

Lauren Boden to launch her season at Queanbeyan

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Boden keen for a push from Jana

Canberra Times
23 Nov, 2011

Canberra 400m hurdler Lauren Boden believes a fit and firing Jana Pittman-Rawlinson can provide the ''push'' she needs to peak for next year's Olympics.

Pittman-Rawlinson's injury woes have deprived Boden of quality domestic competition in recent years. But Boden has welcomed news the two-time world champion is reportedly progressing well in her quest to qualify for London.

Returning to the track after a 20-month absence, Pittman-Rawlinson narrowly beat Boden at the final leg of the Australian Tour at Perth in April.

And Boden is relishing the chance to test herself regularly against a proven performer.

''We really pushed each other [in Perth], and I'm told she's in even better shape than she was then,'' Boden said.

''Since I've been doing the 400m hurdles at open level there hasn't been too many other girls to push me [in Australia], which is tough.

''You get used to racing on your own and sometime when you get competition it falls apart because you're not used to it.

''In Europe we always have people to race and to be competitive in that environment, we need to replicate that in Australia.''

Boden will continue her preparation for March's Olympic trials by competing in this Saturday's Queanbeyan Gift.

The 23-year-old was forced to withdraw from the 120m scratch race due to a minor quad injury last year.

She has been given a mark of 1.75m after her second place in April's lucrative Stawell Gift.

Total prizemoney for the women's race has been doubled to $16,000, bringing it in line with the men.

''It's a great thing to have equal prizemoney with the males, but for me I always think the prizemoney is a bonus anyway,'' Boden said.

''It's great for everyone involved and will hopefully attract a few more females to either start the sport or stay in it.''

Fellow world titles representative Melissa Breen will also compete, as will defending champion Christine Wearn of Kellyville.

The men's race will be headlined by five-time national 100m champion Josh Ross, who will come out of retirement for the event.

Highly rated Victorians Adrian Mott and Sam Jamieson have also been confirmed, while Canberra's Luke Storta will look to replicate his 2009 victory. Last year's winner, Queanbeyan's Patrick Elliott, won't start after electing to take a hiatus from the sport.

After making the semi-final at the world titles semi-final at Korea in April, Boden believes a place in the Olympic final is achievable.

''Top eight is definitely a realistic goal,'' she said. ''I've been really happy with training at the moment and have made some good progress. There's no reason I can't run a massive PB [personal best, currently 55.25sec] during the season, it's just a matter of getting the right conditions.''


Saturday at Queanbeyan Park, Lowe St.

Racing from 10am. Women's Gift 3.45pm,

Men's Gift 4pm.

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