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Frankston’s Sarah Klein builds for Glasgow roads

Next month the reality of a debut Commonwealth Games will come true for Frankston marathon runner Sarah Klein who twelve months ago would never have anticipated nomination by Athletics Australia to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to compete in Glasgow.

It was only when a friend made Klein aware she might have run a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 2:42:30 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon was the idea of competing in Glasgow entertained.

“A friend of mine text me and said you might have done a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games and I thought, I never even though of that, so I looked it up and I was 23 seconds off of the b qualifier and after speaking to my coach we thought there was always a chance with the marathon, you never know what’s going to happen so we had crack,” Klein said.

The fourth place finish in Melbourne instigated a growing ambition for the Caulfield Grammar School teacher to put in place the steps to have a serious attempt at making her first senior Australian team.

“I attempted Gold Coast in 2012 and got injured the week before and went back in 2013 but pulled up a bit lame in the lead up so my debut was Melbourne 2013, it actually took three attempts to get to the start line of a marathon to begin with and now I’m coming up to my third one and guess I’m a marathon runner now,” said Klein.

Focus turned to Europe and at the Marathon Rotterdam in the Netherlands in April Klein secured the ‘B’ qualifying standard with a personal best time of 2:38:53.

“It’s a real relief to work so hard for something and to cross the line and to see the 2:38 I was really proud of myself and so stoked to get the b qualifier,” Klein said.

“A few things had to fall into place for me to be selected and I was, so I’ll take it and can’t wait to get over to Glasgow and run.”

Near on a month after Rotterdam Klein along with Essendon’s Liam Adams was added to make it a full quota of marathon runners nominated by Athletics Australia for the Glasgow Games.

Since nomination training including hill climbs every Sunday in the Dandenong’s has been stepped up and the gradual build-up to longer distances before departing for Glasgow next month has included wins in the 13.5km Puffing Billy’s Great Train Race and last weekend’s victory in the XCR’14 Round 3 6km course a Brimbank Park.

“This was my first XCR event that I’ve won, so I went one better than I did last round, it’s always a tough start out there going up the hill, but I was able to settle in a bit as we got going and felt alright so it was good,” Klein speaking after winning at Brimbank.

“It’s all preparation for the Commonwealth Games, the marathon is the goal and the bigger picture so the races I do in the lead up to that are part of the plan and then hopefully by the time July 27 comes around I’ll be fit and ready to go.”

With a new found belief in competing at this level Klein will be quietly confident heading to Glasgow.

The nomination period has now closed for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a joint announcement by Athletics Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association will take place on Thursday 5 June regarding the final list of athletes to be included on the Australian team.

Chapple and Birmingham nominated for Glasgow 2014

Recently crowned Australian 10,000m champions Nikki Chapple and Collis Birmingham have been nominated by Athletics Australia to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Jessica Trengove (SA) and Martin Dent (ACT) join Chapple and Birmingham as nominations by Athletics Australia for Glasgow 2014.

Birmingham and Chapple earned their automatic nomination for Glasgow after winning the men’s and women’s Australian 10,000m Championships respectively at the recent Zatopek:10 meet in Melbourne.

Under the selection criteria, any athlete who wins the 10,000m national championship and has at least a B standard (28:31.25 for men, 33:24.00 for women) qualified for automatic nomination.

Both Chapple (32:56.25) and Birmingham (27:56.22) recorded B qualifiers and were first Australia’s across the line in this months Zatopek:10 at Lakeside Stadium.

Trengove and Dent were both nominated after their performances at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, qualifying them for automatic nomination under Athletics Australia’s selection policy.

Under that policy, any athletes who finished in the top twenty-four in the marathon at last year’s world championships and who have achieved at least the B standard within the qualification period received automatic nomination for the team for Glasgow.

Trengove finished 11th in the women’s marathon in Moscow, while Dent placed 23rd in the men’s race. Both recorded times in Moscow which bettered the B standard, with Trengove’s 2:37.11 easily under the required 2:42:30 and Dent’s 2:17.11 also under the men’s B standard of 2:18.00.

“The nomination of these athletes is the start of what we hope will be a very strong Australian team for Glasgow,” Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors Dion Russell said.  “All of these four athletes essentially nominated themselves by virtue of their performances, and we look forward to many more athletes doing likewise throughout the upcoming season.”

The other nominations for the marathon and 10,000m are scheduled to be decided later in May 2014. The bulk of the Track and Field athlete nominations will be made to the ACGA following the 92nd Australian Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games Selection Trials – April 3-6.

Through its ‘Go Glasgow’ program, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) is distributing $8 million of its own funds to support athlete preparation in the 18 Games programs sports in addition to meeting the full costs (approximately $7 million) of sending the Team to compete in Glasgow (SCO) at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Australian athletics is a major beneficiary of the ‘Go Glasgow’ program and is grateful for the ACGA’s ongoing support.