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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bomber leads Kelly to Moscow

Bomber leads Kelly to Moscow

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1 Bomber leads Kelly to Moscow on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:48 pm

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Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/athletics/bomber-leads-kelly-to-moscow-20130414-2htwv.html#ixzz2QsLUHO9d

Bomber leads Kelly to Moscow

By Michael Gleeson
The Age
April 15, 2013



Kelly Hetherington on her way to victory in the 800 metres
at the 2013 Australian Athletics Championships on Sunday.
Photo: Getty Images


Last year, Kelly Hetherington had a bacterial infection that could have left the 800-metre runner paralysed. Months earlier, her long-term coach Maxine Corcoran had passed away.

She gradually recovered from the illness and took tentative steps back to training again on her own. But it wasn't working, she needed a coach. She turned to Maxine's husband Danny, the former chief executive of Athletics Australia and presently the football manager at Essendon, and asked for help.

''She said, 'Can you help me?' '' Corcoran said. ''And I couldn't not. I don't have a lot of time but I couldn't not help her. Maxine loved her and vice versa, they were thick as thieves.''

Suffice to say the Essendon football man has been consumed with the investigations under way at the club. This weekend presented a welcome break from that environment.

On Friday, the Bombers beat Fremantle when few thought they would and, on Sunday, Corcoran was trackside at Sydney Olympic Park to watch Hetherington win the 800 metres national title in a B-qualifying time that automatically qualifies her for the team to Moscow for the world championships.

''A couple of good days in terms of a big win on Friday night in Perth and a terrific exhibition today for Kelly's effort to run from the front and take it on. Really pleased for her. She is an absolute gem,'' Corcoran said. He added quietly that it was ''a legacy for my wife''.

After repeatedly running within a whisker of a B-qualifying time, Hetherington was chuffed to finally break the time she needed at the national titles.

''I am so excited to finally have got it done. I am very happy. I have been running 2.02 for the whole season, so to get 2.01 is so exciting,'' she said.

''This one was very much for my late coach Maxine Corcoran. It's been a tough battle, but now that I have got it, I know that she is up there so proud … to come back from Maxine and illness is just such an exciting thing.''

Hetherington was presented with her winner's medal by Charlene Rendina, a close friend of Maxine's who holds the national record, set in 1976.

As pleased as she was with her win and her time, Hetherington knows that as she heads to Europe to compete ahead of Moscow, she needs to improve her time considerably ''because 2.01 as we know in Europe will get thrashed'', she said.

A day after his record-equalling seventh 100-metre sprint title Josh Ross won his second national 200 title in a B-qualifying time of 20.57 to also automatically qualify for Moscow.

Ironically, Ross has won more short sprint titles but has now qualified for an individual sprint at the worlds in the 200 metres. Ross has been a member of the sprint relays but battled to qualify for the individual 100 since making the quarter-finals in Osaka in 2007 and the semi-finals in Helsinki (2005). He also made the quarter-final of the 100 at the Athens Olympics.

Lauren Boden and Tristan Thomas automatically qualified for Moscow winning the 400 hurdles having already run B-qualifying times.

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