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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Mottram looking forward to World titles but Jana isn't.

Mottram looking forward to World titles but Jana isn't.

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Back on track: Craig Mottram impresses in the 5000 metres
in Melbourne last month. Photo: Getty Images

Mottram sets his sights on world titles
By Michael Gleeson
Sydney Morning Herald
April 13, 2011

CRAIG Mottram now knows the results will come, it is just a matter of when. After two years' battling an injury that threatened to end his career, that realisation is an achievement in itself.

After basically being out of action since the Beijing Olympics with an Achilles injury, Mottram is now feeling able to compete.

His eye remains firmly fixed on his pet event, the 5000 metres and the world championships later this year, but this weekend at the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne, he will go head-to-head with young star Jeff Risely in the 1500 metres.

The three-time Olympian and 2005 world championships bronze medallist recorded an impressive 13 minutes 25 seconds for the 5000 metres at the Melbourne track classic last month - which was just one second outside world qualifying time - and followed that with a good result in Spain at the world cross-country championships.

Mottram finished 23rd in the 12-kilometre race in Spain but an extraordinary fist-fight between runners from Eritrea and Ethiopia short of the finish had them disqualified and advanced Mottram to 21st.

"I was hoping for a top-30 finish, so to come in the low 20s was brilliant,'' he said yesterday. ''And most important the body got home in one piece.''

The strong finish there has convinced Mottram he now has the fitness base to work from in serious competition.

"After Beijing, I stopped with the Achilles problems and spent the required time to get them right. No one can tell you how long it's going to be and I certainly didn't think it was going to be a couple of years," he said.

"But I am in one piece, body is good, mentally I am as relaxed and I am enjoying my running, I am running because I want to. The results will come, I am sure of that. It is not if, it is when."

Meanwhile, Jana Pittman-Rawlinson, the two-time world 400-metre hurdles champion who has a slight calf strain, has withdrawn from the national titles this weekend.

Manager Jane Fleming said that after a long time out of competition, it was about establishing a regular and settled training program. "There's a whole series of reasons for it this weekend that I won't go into," Fleming said. "But every decision that will be made for Jana is about London … nothing is going to distract us from that, not even the world titles."

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