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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Race against time for Jess Gulli

Race against time for Jess Gulli

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1 Race against time for Jess Gulli on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:38 am



Race against time for Jess Gulli
By Jason Shields
Geelong Advertiser
March 18th, 2011

GEELONG athlete Jess Gulli will hope to put months of frustration behind her when she makes her return from injury in the Sydney Track Classic tomorrow.

The 22-year-old, who entered the summer in the best shape of her life, will have her first proper race for the season in the 400m hurdles as she resumes her quest for a medal at the national titles in April.

Gulli, who has been set back by a foot and then hamstring injury, admitted she had limited expectations against a red hot field tomorrow, which includes Australia's top current hurdler Lauren Boden, who has posted times around the 56 second mark.

"For me, this weekend will show me where I am at," Gulli said yesterday. "It has been very frustrating because I had never been in as good a form heading into a season and I was really looking forward to getting some PBs and posting some quick times."

Gulli, who has run 59 seconds for the 400m hurdles, originally injured her foot before straining her hamstring on her lead leg.

She said had been forced to be "extra careful" in not rushing back ahead of time.

"It's hard to stay motivated for training when you are not competing, but I've kept the main goal as being the nationals (on April 16)," Gulli said.

"I've played it safe with a lot of my rehab stuff so this will be my first race and it's a bit scary this week."

Beyond this weekend, Gulli said she would target a few High Velocity meets and possibly the NSW state championships.

"I haven't worked it all out yet because the injuries have thrown my schedule out a bit. All I know is that I definitely haven't been overraced this year," she laughed.

Meanwhile, Sally Pearson is hopeful of finding some speed and favourable conditions tomorrow night as she continues her pursuit of the Australian record books.

After a bright start to her domestic season in Brisbane in February, the Beijing Olympic 100m hurdles silver medallist has failed to find top form since, although she has remained undefeated.

Pearson was particularly disappointed by her results in Melbourne earlier this month, when her times in the 100m and 200m sprints were well below her best.

The Queenslander, whose best 100m time is 11.14 seconds, is targeting Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's long-standing national record of 11.12, but could only manage 11.52 in Melbourne.

"I have no idea, I really don't know," she said when asked about her sluggish times in Melbourne.

"It's difficult, I've never run fast in Melbourne and don't know why, I don't have any excuses for it."

400 Metre Hurdles Open Women - Sydney 19/3/2011
1, Lauren Boden, AIS, 56.41.
2, Lyndsay Pekin, ACT, 58.14.
3, Lisa Spencer, NSW, 59.10.
4, Sanne Verstegen, NED, 59.23.
5, Jess Gulli, VIC, 59.94.
6, Chloe Jamieson, AIS, 60.27.
7, Tatum Shaw, QLD, 60.47.
8, Lisa Celi, NSWIS, 62.11.

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