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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Boden to bring her 'A' game to Classic

Boden to bring her 'A' game to Classic

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1 Boden to bring her 'A' game to Classic on Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:12 am



Boden to bring her 'A' game to Classic
Canberra Times
07 Feb, 2012

A relaxed Lauren Boden has hurdled herself within touching distance of the London Olympics and is confident fast conditions in Perth will help her achieve her goal.

The Canberra 400metre hurdler stopped the clock at 56.07seconds to win in Hobart on Saturday, which is just 0.57s outside of an Olympic A-qualifying time.

It was the six-time Australian champion's fastest time of the season, as well as a meet record for Tasmania's Briggs Athletics Classic.

Boden said she was now ''race fit'' and will run her fourth 400m hurdles of her campaign at this weekend's Perth Track Classic.

A quick time in tricky conditions in Hobart has her and coach Matt Beckenham confident a qualifying time is just around the corner - if not in Perth, then the following week at the Sydney Track Classic

While it could be tempting to be frustrated at being so close to booking a ticket to London, Boden is seeing it as a good sign.

She didn't expect to be running this fast this soon.

''It's definitely a good lead-in and puts me well ahead of where I thought I'd be at this point of the season,'' Boden told The Canberra Times from Perth yesterday.

''Leading into Perth this weekend and Sydney the following weekend - these are the two meets that Matt and I were aiming to run really well at, so I think with some really good conditions ... I'd be looking to run really well this weekend.''

With an injury cloud continuing to surround former national champion Jana Pittman, Boden looks on track to win her third-straight Australian title in Melbourne in March.

In the past Boden has said the presence of three-time national champ Pittman has always spurred her on but wasn't sure when she would next run into her rival.

''I'm not exactly sure where she's at ... if she's here [in Perth], she's here, I've got no idea [where she'll be running next],'' Boden said.

In Hobart, Boden finished well clear of Victoria's second-placed Jess Gulli (58.92s) and is looking forward to some extra competition from USA hurdler Christine Spence.

Fellow Canberra hurdler Brendan Cole will also be bolstered by some extra competition from the States.

Cole romped home in Tasmania - winning the men's 400m hurdle by almost 20m in 50.63s, just outside the Olympic A-qualifier of 49.50s.

Boden felt Cole was in a similar place to herself and the extra competition could be just what he needed to step up to the next level.

''He's got a couple of Americans coming out and one of them was out here last season and was just a bit in front of Brendan so hopefully with that extra dynamic in the race he'll be able to go under that qualifying time as well,'' she said.

ACT hammer thrower Tim Driesen also won his event in Hobart, hurling his hammer 68.99m - a personal best - but he still has a way to go before reaching the qualifying mark of 78m to reach his first Olympics.

Driesen finished seventh at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

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