Taking it in her stride

Champion hurdler Shannon McCann in training for the World University Games. Picture: Elle Borgward d403190
Champion hurdler Shannon McCann in training for the World University Games. Picture: Elle Borgward d403190

The South Lake resident is Western Australia’s fastest ever hurdler over 100 metres, a two-time national champion and Australia’s current number two behind Olympic champion Sally Pearson.

But ongoing back and hamstring-related injuries, which began in Perth back in 2010, threatened to cruel her burgeoning career.

Bed-ridden for two months in 2011 and told she would never hurdle again, McCann was determined to prove her doubters wrong ” and she has done just that.

The 24-year-old, who works as a legal aid and studies a triple major at Murdoch University, is on her way to Kazan in Russia to compete in the World University Games, the second biggest athletics event in the world.

‘I’m in really good form. I’m looking to hopefully make the final and sneak a medal,’ she said.

‘To be going to a tournament like this means everything. You don’t work every day of your life not to run for Australia.’

Despite making a successful comeback, the chance of her injury flaring is something the former John Curtin student remains conscious of.

She said it was about managing the injury to get through each event.

‘Lying in bed when the injury first occurred I was a bit depressed, especially when they said not to do athletics again. But I came through that and I now know that no one can tell me what I can and can’t do,’ she said.

‘There is a mental game to stay confident because I do know there’s a chance the injury could re-occur. All I can do is look after it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’