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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Jana Pittman is dedicated to pushing toward selection for London Olympics

Jana Pittman is dedicated to pushing toward selection for London Olympics

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/jana-pittman-is-dedicated-to-pushing-toward-selection-for-london-olympics/story-e6frep5o-1226219296246


Jana Pittman runs during the Victorian 4x400m Women's Final during the 2011 Zatopek Classic at the Victorian Athletics Centre.


Jana Pittman is dedicated to pushing toward selection for London Olympics

by: Scott Gullan
From:The Courier-Mail
December 12, 2011



Jana Pittman (R) and Tamsyn Lewis talk after the medal
presentation for the Victorian 4x400m Women's Final
during the 2011 Zatopek Classic at the Victorian Athletics
Centre.


DUAL 400m hurdles world champion Jana Pittman says she is more dedicated than ever to her athletics after backing away from retirement.

Pittman could not hide her enthusiasm at being back on the track at Saturday's Zatopek:10 event where she led her club team Glenhuntly to victory in the 4x400m state championships.

Since her second world championships triumph in Osaka 2007, leg injuries have interrupted Pittman's career.

Pittman was hand-timed at 55.55sec as the lead-off runner for Glenhuntly with fellow Australian teammate Tamsyn Lewis running the third leg for her club, Sandringham, who finished third.

"It was fun," she said. "It was nice to going out of blocks as it's the first time I have been out of blocks since Perth (in April)."

Pittman returned to live in Melbourne at the start of the year and re-connected with her former coach Phil King, who led her to her first world title in 2003.

Pittman plans to run her first 400m hurdles race of the season next month in Brisbane as she tracks towards the Olympic trials in Melbourne in March.

"We are going better than we expected," she said.

"I've really grown up this year so I think it's been a blessing. But this is certainly the most dedicated I've ever been.

"It has been a troublesome year and Phil said it really well that we had to detox the body this year.

"I have had a lot of stress on the joints over the years and finally we're now doing some stuff that my body likes.

"I am running 14s (for stride pattern) already so maybe Brisbane but definitely I will be doing the hurdles in Perth (on February 11)."

Pittman said the women's 400 hurdles has improved internationally in the past two years so she would need to produce "something pretty special" to contend at the London Games.

Former world record holder Nathan Deakes found form when it mattered to ensure a return to the Olympic Games at the national race walking championships.

The 50km walk now looms as Australia's strongest athletics event at the London Games with the already qualified Jared Tallent and Luke Adams and 2007 world champion Deakes all medal prospects.

Tallent surged past Deakes at the start of the final 2km lap of the 50km event to claim the national title in Melbourne on Sunday.

But Deakes, 34, did what he needed to do, holding off Victorian rival Chris Erickson to claim second by 1m24s in a time of 3hr50min34sec.

As he and Adams had already qualified for London through top eight finishes at last year's world championships, Tallent didn't plan to finish Sunday's race, but couldn't resist the chance to claim the title.

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