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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Joel Bee aiming for sub 47s on road to Olympic trials

Joel Bee aiming for sub 47s on road to Olympic trials

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http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/athletics-joel-bee-shoots-for-olympic-trials/2386999.aspx?storypage=0

Athletics: Joel Bee shoots for Olympic trials

MELANIE WHELAN
Ballarat Courier
09 Dec, 2011




BREAKING the 47-second barrier is Joel Bee’s top priority.
The Ballarat 400m specialist wants to have a crack at racing in the Australian Olympic trials.

First step, he needs to shave 0.3 seconds off his pace.

Tomorrow night is Bee’s first major race this season – the 400m in the Zatopek:10 meet at Athletics Victoria’s new Lakeside Stadium. The blue world championship-standard track at the Albert Park venue suits fast times.

“I’m a little nervous actually and I don’t normally get nervous ... I didn’t get nervous at the (junior) world championships or nationals last season,” Bee said.

“I think it’s maybe because we’re leading into an Olympic year and every race counts.’’

“There is so much attention on everyone and I want to be perform at my best each time.”

The 19-year-old’s dream is to make an Olympic team.

This season he will very much focus on improvement and take each race as it comes.

Bee must break the 47-second barrier to qualify for this season’s national championships.

To be any chance of qualifying for the London Games, Bee must shave more time off to meet the Olympic qualifying standard, race well in all five Athletics Australia meets - which each have qualifying standards for entry - and win or get a fast time at nationals.

He is determined to be on the starting line in Melbourne for selection trials on March 2-3 - at least for the experience.

His coach Paul Cleary says Bee has been training well and expects his sprinter to race well at Zatopek.

Bee says the Zatopek should give a good indication of how much his race has improved after a solid off-season.

“I’ve been doing a lot of speed work and have run good times in training,” Bee said.

“I feel fitter, stronger and faster than I’ve ever been.

“I’ve run two inter-club events here in Ballarat and ran quick times in both.

“I’m feeling really good.”

Bee will be up against a tough field in tomorrow night’s Zatopek meet, including 2010 Stawell Gift winner Tom Burbidge (Canberra), experienced 400m runner Andrew Boudrie and a band of young guns who, like Bee, are keen to impress.

Trekking up to Melbourne yesterday, Bee seized a chance to familiarise himself with the Lakeside track last night.

Bee is out to build on a strong year, in which he reached the semi-finals of the Stawell Gift, was runner-up in the Ballarat Gift and contested the 400m at the world junior track and field championships in Canada.

A return to the Gift circuit this summer is a possibility, but Bee said it depended how his track season panned out.

Australians Craig Mottram, Dave McNeill and Ben St Lawrence headline tomorrow night’s main event, the Zatopek:10.

Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham has elected to take a break and focus on training and Nathan Hartigan is recovering from a knee injury.

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