David Polkinghorne July 19, 2012
Melissa Breen set a PB for the 100m yesterday in the lead-up to London. Photo: Colleen Petch
It wasn't a justification for her Olympic Games selection - Melissa Breen already felt like she belonged on the Australian team.
No, the Canberra sprinter's personal best of 11.27 seconds was justification for all the hard work both her and coach Matthew Beckenham had put in rebuilding her technique almost two years ago.
Breen had come agonisingly close to running an A-qualifier in the lead-up to next week's London Olympics and was granted a discretionary selection by Athletics Australia selectors.
But at a meet in Lucerne, Switzerland, she smashed through the 100-metre qualifying mark of 11.29s in emphatic style, finishing second to USA runner Tiffany Townsend yesterday.
If the time had've come a month earlier it would've given the 21-year-old sprinter an Olympic A-qualifying time.
But Breen didn't look at it that way.
For her it was just an awesome feeling to be running the fastest she ever has with the world's biggest stage just around the corner.
With the Swiss sunshine beating down she sensed her destiny was in her own feet.
''That's true [that I ran an A-qualifier] but I don't think about it like that,'' Breen told The Canberra Times yesterday.
''I wasn't coming over here to chase and run the 'A'. They selected me on what I'd done and I was part of the team as much as everyone else and it's just wonderful coming into great shape towards the Olympics, [which are] just 10 days away.
''It's very exciting and I couldn't think of a better prep than running a PB in Europe.''
She narrowly missed the mark of 11.29s by just two one-thousandths of a second with her previous personal best in Japan in April.
Rather than continue to push for that qualifier at the time, Breen and Beckenham decided to return to training and hope AA gave her a discretionary selection, which they did.
But after her scorching new PB, the goal now is to run even faster.
Breen returned to her base in Cologne overnight to prepare for a meet in Belgium this weekend.
She wants to continue her consistent season that has seen her slowly reduce her time to where she is now.
It will be her final hit-out before she joins the Aussie team in Tunbridge, before her date with destiny on August 3.
The 21-year-old now knows she belongs on this stage.
''The goal all along has been to make semi-finals and in that be in the top 16 in the world,'' Breen said.
''It has given me a great deal of belief. Running the times in Australia is great but once you can do it overseas in a competitive race is important and knowing that you belong out there.''
The national 100m and 200m champion credited a chat with champion hurdler Sally Pearson with helping her with her starts.
Breen needed to switch her mind off and let her training and instinct take over.
That was how Pearson exploded out of the blocks and it's now working for Breen.
''About a year ago or even more she said, 'You think too much Mel', so I asked what she thinks about and it was all about reacting and when that gun goes you just react and go,'' she said.
''Just stop over-analysing everything and I think that's something I did very well yesterday - I don't remember much of the race yesterday.
''That's always a good sign … it means you just went and raced and ran hard.''
At the same meet, Canberra 400m hurdler Lauren Boden finished seventh in her race in a time of 56.98s.