Author: Lauren Wells
It has been a big couple of days for me here at the World Championships in Beijing. On Sunday I ran in the 400H heats, finishing second in a season’s best time of 55.65. I was subsequently disqualified for ‘trailing a hurdle’ and after a successful, but stressful appeal, I was thankfully reinstated. Last night, on Monday, I ran in my 400H semi final, finishing fourth in a time of 56.04.
Naturally, I am disappointed with my time, as I really wanted to run faster than my in my heat, and it actually felt faster than the time would suggest too. But with that aside, there are so many positives I can take out of both races –
– season’s best in the heat (55.65)
– heat was also the fastest I have run since Moscow World Champs 2013
– 55.65 is in my Top-10 All time races
– Fourth in my semi final is the highest I’ve ever placed at a World Champs or Olympic Games
– 14th overall in the World is a great achievement!
None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for MattyB – my amazing coach, friend, mentor and inspiration. I honestly can’t say enough good things about him and ‘thank you’ doesn’t do justice to the immense gratitude I have towards him. His passion, knowledge, experience and love for athletics is rare, and I can honestly say that I would not be the athlete, or in fact, person I am today, if it wasn’t for him. You’re truly one of a kind Matty and I love you heaps!
I will write a more in-depth analysis of my thoughts post-race in my ‘2015 Blog’ but I just wanted to share my initial thoughts with you all and also thanks Matty for all of his hard work so far.
The job is not done, however. I still have the 4x400m relay heats to run on Saturday morning, which I am really really excited about. Relays are a lot of fun and a different sort of pressure to what a 400H can bring! Our team is really strong at the moment and it should be interesting to see what we can run!
Thank you to everyone for their support so far – I appreciate it more than you know.
Just wanted to update you on how things are going over here in the Australian Team Camp in Wakayama, Japan. I arrived here a week ago, and so far everything has run smoothly. The Japanese volunteers are so kind and are always happy to help us in whatever we need. The weather here is also similar to what we will encounter in Beijing, so it has been a great place to do my final preparations.
At the beginning of the week the final Australian Team for World Champs was announced, and I have officially been selected in both the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay :-) To add the cherry on top, I was also selected to represent the ‘hurdles/ sprints’ athletes in the leadership group. So I am CO-CAPTAINING the Australian Team with Alana Boyd (jumps), Kim Mickle (throws) and Chris Erikson (endurance)!! Very excited and humbled to be given this opportunity by Athletics Australia :-)
On Tuesday the Australian Team attended a Welcome Ceremony hosted by the Wakayama Mayor and colleagues. I was chosen alongside Alana to accept a bouquet of flowers, on behalf of the team. It was lovely to hear how excited and proud the Wakayama Prefecture are, to have our team here.
I have also taken the opportunity to immerse myself in a little bit of Wakayama culture while I have been here. I attended a traditional Japanese afternoon tea and then walked around the Historical Wakayama Castle. The gardens were so tranquil and the castle was impressive. And to think it is just outside out hotel window! It was a nice way to do something away from the track as well.
Training has been going really well and I am excited to see what the next two weeks will bring :-) I fly with majority of the team, on Wednesday to Beijing. So next time I write, I will be in China!!
Today I had my final 400H hit-out before I compete at the World Championships in Beijing in just over two weeks. I ran at the Juntendo University track meet, where I won the 400H in 55.87. Conditions were a modest 30 degrees and the wind was quite swirly and gusty. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, I have been working hard on a new stride pattern, which I believe suits my running style most effectively. Despite the conditions today not being very conducive to trying that stride pattern (head wind down the back straight), I ran it anyway!
My time today was the first time I have run sub-56 sec with a couple of 14’s in my stride pattern, which is very exciting! Check out my ‘2015 Blog’ page for further insight into my thoughts regarding my race today and how I am feeling leading into Beijing.
To watch today’s race (filmed by and with thanks to MattyB) check out my ‘2015 Competition Footage’ page.
Happy viewing and reading!
I just wanted to pass on to you all, the very exciting news regarding the Beijing World Championships coming up in just 3 WEEKS time!!
As mentioned on the Athletics Australia website –
‘In a coup for athletics in Australia, the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing (CHN) on 22-30 August will enjoy unrivalled coverage on both SBS 2 and Eurosport Australia.
Delivering the very best athletics has to offer to homes across the nation, the broadcast partnership between the IAAF and SBS Television will see a one-hour highlights package in prime-time on SBS 2 each night of the championships, while Eurosport Australia will feature every session live and in full.’
It is fantastic news for the Athletics Australia community and also great for us athletes, who have plenty of family, friends and fans at home who won’t have to wake up at ‘silly-o’clock’ to watch us compete!
I thought I’d let you know now, with plenty of time up your sleeve, just incase you need to install Foxtel or let your boss know you’ll be having a few days off between Aug 22-30 (to watch your favourite athletes compete of course!!).
To get your viewing schedule sorted ahead of time, here is the TIMETABLE for the World Champs!!
I’ve recently had a couple more races in Europe, this time in Belgium. The first was Saturday July 18th in Heusden-Zolder, where I finished 4th in the 400H in 56.31. It was a good run from lane 8 and I just ran out of legs the last 20m. It was slightly faster than my previous race in Luzern and certainly kept with the consistency I have shown this year.
On Friday July 24th I drove to Brussels, to compete in the Belgium National Championships. The weather for the 400H heats on Saturday was very Canberra-esqe – 14degrees, gusty wind and raining! Needless to say, I didn’t run a fast time but did enough to make the final the next day, as the only ‘invited’ international. On Sunday the weather was slightly warmer, not so gusty and dry which helped, as I went on to win the race in a season’s best time of 55.85.
It was great to win, especially as Belgium’s top 400m hurdler was chasing me down! I managed to pull her to a World Championship and Olympic Games qualifying time (55.93), so I think she was happy I made the trip to race there! It was also a huge relief, to run a time that better reflects where my training has been at, and is also the fastest I have run since my 400H heat at the Commonwealth Games last year.
I arrived in Chiba, Japan, yesterday and will be training here until August 8th, which is when I will move into the Australian Team Camp ahead of World Champs. It is great to be able to have Matt at my sessions again now and I feel like I am in a great position heading into this final month of preparation before Beijing.
I have been in Switzerland since Wednesday last week, staying just outside of Luzern. Matt (coach) has a friend, Sam, which lives in Emmen with his wife and daughter, and I have been enjoying some ‘family’ meals and a bit of ‘normal’ life this week. It has been refreshing to spend some time in a different place and I have seen some beautiful sights. Switzerland really is one of my favourite places to come and I’m sure you can see why, from the pictures below!
Sam and I went to Mount Rigi – ‘Queen of the Mountains – part of the Swiss Plateau. We caught a train most of the way up the mountain and then walked the rest of the way to the 1798m summit. The views were spectacular, even on an overcast day.
I am so thankful to Sam and his family for looking after me so well, especially as I prepare for my next race, in Luzern July 14th, before heading back to Cologne.
On Thursday July 9th I competed in my first 400H since arriving in Europe, finishing 3rd in the Lausanne Diamond League in 56.26. Whilst it technically wasn’t a Diamond League point-scoring event, the competition was tough but perfect for my first hit-out. I was in lane 1, which is always hard for a 400H event but I took on the challenge and was very happy with my result. Conditions were a bit tricky, with a swirly wind, but I focused on executing my stride pattern and running my own race.
The crowd was very vocal and it made for a great atmosphere in the stadium. Switzerland is such a beautiful place and I really enjoyed my short time in Lausanne.