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PROTRACK » GENERAL » The holiday is over for Ben Offereins

The holiday is over for Ben Offereins

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1 The holiday is over for Ben Offereins on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:59 am



The holiday is over for Offereins .
ANSW Website
21 January 2011

As the well worn cliche goes, a year is a long time in sport. Australian 400m champion Ben Offereins certainly agrees but is looking forward to the next year and a half leading into the London Olympics. He will commence his domestic season campaign in the Inside Athletics 400m at the Hunter Track Classic on 29 January.

Offereins was the find of last domestic season. Commencing with a series of fast interclub runs, he progressed through the season undefeated, lowering his personal best to 44.86 seconds at the Sydney Track Classic and claiming his second national title in front of his home crowd in Perth.

However, despite the local success, the form wasn't replicated in the European summer, with Offereins eventually finishing seventh at the Commonwealth Games in 46.00 seconds. It was a race there for the taking and a missed opportunity, with the low quality field leading to the slowest winning time since 1986.

"The good points were obviously running sub 45 seconds and winning nationals, but I enjoyed going overseas and having my first full season in Europe," said Offereins reflecting on 2010.

"The performances [in Europe] obviously weren't what I was wanting, but the experience of going off and doing that sort of thing against the best in the world was a pretty good experience.

"It's not a holiday. I've learnt something in my first trip... I mean, you want to enjoy your athletics. If I'm not enjoying it, I don't want to do it. So, I went off and did a bit of a travel season where I went to all these countries and all these races.

"Whether it was the best thing for my preparation going into Commonwealth Games, probably not, but it was one of those things that I had to get out. I wanted to go out there and have that fun time traveling around to all of the different countries and meets and now that I've done that, next time I go I'm done with travelling and I'm running fast and doing what is important."

In contrast to 2010, Offereins will be taking a more low key approach to racing in 2011.

"This year we are taking a different approach and I'm not competing anywhere near as much," he said.

"Obviously last season I was competing almost every week from October through to April, doing all the local club stuff. We sort of had to because we weren't really sure what I could do. Now that we know where we are at, we can pick and choose our races a bit more, which is nice.

"The main focus is the Olympics, so we are doing what is good for the Olympics next year and not competing too much through the domestic season this year and then really focusing on Deagu and the Olympics, which is a long year.

"The plan for this season is just to get to nationals and make the team. But obviously to do that we need to run pretty fast - the qualifier is down to 45.25 seconds. There's only been four of us who have done it in the last four years, so it is pretty tough. I don't even know if we are going to have three automatically make it through.

"The Hunter Track Classic will be my first 400m for the season, so who knows what's going to happen? It will be interesting. I'm interested to find out how I'm going because I haven't even put on spikes yet in training."

For more information on the meet visit

Article and Image thanks to Inside Athletics, the official naming rights sponsor of the men's and women's 400m races at the Hunter Track Classic

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