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PROTRACK » GENERAL » B-grade won't be enough for Tamsyn Manou

B-grade won't be enough for Tamsyn Manou

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1 B-grade won't be enough for Tamsyn Manou on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:15 am



B-grade won't be enough for Tamsyn Manou

* by: Sophie Gosper
* From: The Australian
* April 14, 2012

ONLY two Australian women have ever electronically clocked the 800m Olympic 'A' qualifying time of 1:59.90, and Tamsyn Manou is one of them.

But the 17-time national champion from Victoria will need to run a personal best in today's 800m final at the Australian athletics championships to make the Olympic team, having fallen short at trials. It will be her last national championships before Manou, 33, plans to retire, and she is determined to get one more Olympics under her belt.

Manou is the only women's 800m runner who has made the 'B' cut but after being left at home last year during the IAAF World Championships because she didn't run an 'A' time, she is not taking any chances.

"I don't trust (the selectors), all I know is the only definite way I am going to make the team is by making the 'A' time," Manou told The Weekend Australian the night before her 800m heat. "I get disappointed when I know my federation would rather have no one in an event instead of someone representing the country."

Manou is concerned that young athletes are not being given the opportunity to compete at an international level because 'B' standards are being overlooked.

"There's obviously always going to be a Sally Pearson and Cathy Freeman on the team, but that doesn't mean you don't select team members who aren't necessarily going to medal," Manou said.

"I think there is a really good bunch of girls behind me and I would like to see them make that 'B' standard."

In 1998, a 19-year-old Manou was selected from a 'B' qualifying time to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Two years later she missed out on an Olympic final by just 0.1sec.

"It's the Olympics, you just never know what is going to happen if you get the backing to go," she said.

Coming off a calf injury, Manou thinks she has made a full recovery and is in a good place going into nationals.

"Sometimes these things happen for a reason and it can give you the chance to start off slow, and hopefully I'm gearing up at the right time," Manou said.

She goes into the final ranked second behind Zoe Buckman (2:06.60) after "jogging" an under-whelming time of 2:07.63 in her heat, which she won, in order to save herself for the final. Even though she is the favourite to win, Manou says by this stage in her career she has learnt to never underestimate her rivals.

"(Today) I'll just have to go for it," she said. "I know I've only got a few more chances, so I'm definitely going to chase it."

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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