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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Rouge-Serret making a name for himself

Rouge-Serret making a name for himself

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1 Rouge-Serret making a name for himself on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:18 pm



Aaron Rouge-Serret celebrates winning the men's 100m at the national championships at Olympic Park. Picture: Mark Dadswell Source: Getty Images

Aaron Rouge-Serret making a name for himself
By Ron Reed
Herald Sun
April 18, 2011

AARON Rouge-Serret is one of the most distinctive names in Australian athletics -- but not a big one.


The young Melbourne sprinter is working hard to change that, and took two significant steps forward when he won the 100m and 200m double at the national championships at the weekend.

Neither run qualified him for the world championships team, which will be announced today, but bigger, better and more experienced stars than him have found this to be an elusive double -- so he was entitled to his reaction.

"It's a dream come true," he said.

The heavy hitters at Athletics Australia will be hoping there's more to come before they finalise the team at the end of July.

People love sprinters. The really good ones are fascinating and a national track and field team without a decent speed man is really only half a team.

So it was disappointing for all concerned when Australia turned up at the Beijing Olympics without a male in either the 100 or 200 -- Matt Shirvington, Patrick Johnson and Josh Ross all having come to the end of the road.

Rouge-Serret, 23, has entrenched himself as the best of the current crop.

He clocked 10.39 on Saturday night and 20.88 yesterday, adrift of the A qualifying standards of 10.18 and 20.60.

But the 100 was probably more encouraging than the stopwatch indicated, having been run on a cold night and into a breeeze.

His best is 10.17, recorded in Perth a year ago, so he's definitely got more in him.

He will try to unlock it in Japan and then Europe during our winter, but next comes the Stawell Gift.

Thanks to the presence of former world champion Kim Collins, who will run off scratch, Rouge-Serret has "a pretty handy mark" of 1.25m and gives himself a realistic chance of winning.

"I always have a crack," he said yesterday.

There weren't all that many on hand to see him complete the double but nobody stirred up more noise -- thanks to his personal cheer squad of friends and family.

"It helps. They know your goals and you don't want to disappoint your family or your coach, so I perform 100 per cent every time."

That approach extends to his life off the track, too. Since completing his secondary education he has been a full-time athlete, and when one of Australia's most renowned sprint coaches, Neville Sillitoe, came out of retirement to steer him, the first instruction was to give up soccer, at which he had also shown promise.

He since has moved from the family home in the eastern suburbs to live with his current coach, Adam Larcom, in the western suburbs to maximise training time.

Since he started at Knox Little Athletics at age six, sprinting has been all that he has lived for.

He hasn't got to where he's going yet -- but Rouge-Serret was easily recognisable yesterday as a young man in a big hurry.

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