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PROTRACK » GENERAL » McCabe puts 'timeless 200m' behind him

McCabe puts 'timeless 200m' behind him

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1 McCabe puts 'timeless 200m' behind him on Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:54 pm



Sprinter let down by technology

Scott Gullan
From:Herald Sun
April 03, 2012

WITH household names such as Sally Pearson, Craig Mottram and John Steffensen stealing the limelight at last month's Olympic selection trials, the controversy of the final night in the men's 200m slipped through to the keeper.

Queensland sprinter Andrew McCabe announced himself a serious player by winning the race, but as he crossed the line hoping he might have gone under the Olympic A-standard time, the clock was blank.

After the confusion, officials confirmed the timing mechanism had failed.

"Everyone got antsy about it," McCabe recalled yesterday. "It's just one of those things that happened and you can't hang on it too much, but I was a bit bummed later. I was like, 'What the ... isn't this an international athletics meet?'

"Everything went right in that race. All the other 200m races in the season, normally I'd been getting whipped around the bend and then I'd come home strong.

"I had a pretty good start and was first coming off the bend, so then it was sort of just, 'OK, catch me if you can boys'.

"It was a good race, but there are still a lot of things I have to work on. I'm only 21, so I can't really expect to be a champion yet."

McCabe franked his form a week later when he ran a personal best 20.75sec, only 0.20sec outside the A-standard qualifying time that would book him a start at the London Olympics.

McCabe's journey to becoming the fastest 200m runner in the country began at last year's Australia Post Stawell Gift, where he went into the final as one of the favourites and finished a close third.

He almost didn't make it to the start line. It was only a spray from his coach, former Australian Olympic sprinter Paul di Bella, that shocked McCabe into action.

"To be honest, I didn't really want to run the semi-final as I was so exhausted and tired from just having a day off in between (the heats and final)," he said.

"I said to Paul, 'I don't really want to run. I'm so tired and exhausted from doing nothing'. He just gave me a clip over the head and said, 'Nah, you little bastard, you're running'.

"Then I snapped out of it. I figured what we train for the whole season is going to go down the drain if I don't have a crack in the final.

"I learnt a lot of things from the experience, including how to handle myself."

McCabe's disappointment didn't last long as he went out and won the Ballarat Gift the following week. He then sat down to map out the next 12 months with Di Bella and the London Olympics weren't even in the frame.

His more immediate goal is some unfinished business at Stawell where he has been pulled three metres for this year's Gift, back from 6.25m to 3.25m.

This doesn't faze McCabe, given his improvement over the past year, though he is concerned about being too close to the two drawcards, Jamaican Michael Frater and former world 100m champion Kim Collins.

"In the Olympic trials, national champion Aaron Rouge-Serret beat me by less than a metre over 100 and I was coming home a lot quicker than the other boys were," McCabe said.

"If I nail my start, I've got a pretty good finish so who knows, hopefully I can come home with a win."

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