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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Steffensen 'murders' the field and is glad to be back

Steffensen 'murders' the field and is glad to be back

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http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/sport/a/-/other/12885955/steffensen-back-with-run-on-track/

Steffensen back with run on track

GENE STEPHAN,
The West Australian
February 13, 2012,



Steffensen back with run on track

When it comes to the big stage in track and field, John Steffensen is the ultimate showman.

The 29-year-old's career has been highlighted by glittering performances at the Olympic Games, world championships and Commonwealth Games, and on Saturday he returned home to start his bid for selection at the London Games against a high-calibre field at the Go for 2&5 Track Classic.

Making his first competitive appearance over 400m since July last year, Steffensen upstaged fellow West Australian Ben Offereins, last season's fastest man Steve Solomon and perennial rival Sean Wroe to win in a season-best 46.11sec. at the WA Athletics Stadium.

Steffensen, whose successes include Olympic silver and world championships bronze in the 4x400m relay, could not contain himself.

"It was a murder scene out there tonight - someone should have called triple zero," he said. "But it was nice and I will have another go in Sydney next weekend to see what I can do.

"Hopefully it will be a bit faster because you can't be playing games in an Olympic year."

The depth of competition in 400m racing is greater than any other athletics event in Australia but no one has yet posted an A-qualifying standard of 45.25, and Steffensen knows that.

"You can't take short cuts in an Olympic year, so we're definitely not going to be doing that. You have to run fast," the dual gold medallist from the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games said.

One of the first to acknowledge his run was national high performance manager Eric Hollingsworth, who has been instrumental in reviving Steffensen's career after a turbulent relationship with Athletics Australia resulted in him boycotting the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Having patched up his differences with AA, Steffensen acknowledged the recent support from Hollingsworth and chief executive Dallas O'Brien.

"It is good to be back again. It has been a tough road and I finally have my federation behind me," he said.

"Dallas and Eric are the first two people in the federation ever who have been there when I have asked for something and who have listened to me."

Asked what it has been like to go for so long with so many doubters, he said: "Some people are made for it and others crumble under the pressure.

"I have a great team, and I can't do without them, so my job is quite easy."

He was disappointed with the time, having hoped for an Olympic qualifier given the excellent conditions and the 3600-strong spectators at the event.

"I wanted to run very fast and wanted an A-qualifier, but lane two was a bit difficult," he said.

"But there can be no excuse and you should be able to run fast every time you step on the track."

Solomon, the 18-year-old national champion, finished second in 46.26. Offereins was third in 46.49.

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
biggest wanker in the sport.

can't wait for solomon to smash him by 5m at the trials

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