Olympic hurdler Lauren Wells eyeing 10th national title

Canberra’s Olympic hurdler Lauren Wells isn’t one to tempt fate.
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She’s already got a world championships qualifying time under her belt, but 30 hurdles stand between Wells and a 10th national title ??? which would automatically book her ticket to London.

Wells will look to seal a world championships berth when she runs in the 400m hurdles at the n athletics championships in Sydney on Friday.

The 28-year-old’s world championships qualifier came in a resounding Canberra Grand Prix win, in just her third race of the season. Never before has she qualified for a major championship so early.

Going into nationals without the added pressure of trying to register a qualifying time for worlds is “a luxury” for Wells and she can use nationals to fine-tune her preparation.

“Now I can go into nationals knowing that I can just enjoy running the races,” Well said.

“Obviously the goal is to win the national title because that will seal my selection on the team but it’s all focusing on the process.

“There’s still heats, semis, and finals. I’ve still got three rounds to get through. Obviously 10 hurdles every race. It’s certainly not a done deal, I’m not one to tempt fate. It’s all about the process, but in saying that I’m certainly not resting on my laurels from the race in Canberra. I know I can run a lot faster that I did here, so I’ll certainly be looking to go to nationals not only to win, but to run a fast time as well.”

The prospect of clinching a 10th national title is a surreal feeling for the two-time Olympian, but she is always focused on the next step.

Wells’ hurdling style is often compared to that of former Jana Pittman ??? and she wouldn’t mind drawing another parallel to the two-time world champion with a title of her own.

“Some people never get to win one, so it’s a huge honour to be crowned the national champion,” Wells said.

“But it’s all about wanting to be the best in so you can take on the best in the world. I’m always going out there every time I race, racing the clock, trying to run a [personal best], trying to execute my race and if I can nail the process and nail my stride pattern the time will come from that.”

Wells registered a 400m hurdles personal best of 55.08 seconds four years ago in Belgium, and has backed herself in to break through for a new one.

Every time she steps out on the track she is hunting for a PB, and the national titles won’t be any different.

“I think that’s what every athlete does so it’s been a few years since I’ve run one and I certainly think that I’m in shape to run something fast this year,” Wells said.

“Whether it’s in Sydney or whether it’s overseas somewhere, I’m not sure, but that’s what we’re working towards, definitely.”

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