Olympic hopeful Beahan clearing hurdles

Olympic hopeful Beahan clearing hurdles

CONNOLLY athlete Brianna Beahan (24) is just a flash away from qualifying for this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 100m hurdler needs a time of 13 seconds or below to be eligible to run at the Games in August, just a fraction faster than her recently set personal best of 13.03 seconds.

Beahan set the sizzling time at the National Athletics Championships in Sydney last weekend.“It was bittersweet,” she said.

“I won a silver medal and set a new PB but missed the Olympic qualifier by just three one hundredths of a second.

“It’s the difference of not even a step.”

Beahan, who also juggles study of occupational therapy and work as a paralegal, shaved 0.08 seconds off the state record she set in Perth last month.

“I’m pretty happy,” she said.

“I’ve got the second fastest time in Australia this season and am now the sixth fastest female 100m hurdler in Australia of all time.”

The modest Beahan also smashed her personal best in the 100m sprint last month.

Her time of 11.54 seconds means she is just 0.22 seconds off qualifying for Rio, but she said her eye is not on that event.

“My sole focus is the hurdles,” she said.

“But maybe the 4x100m relay, but hurdles are really what I’m going for.”

Beahan began her athletics career at 10 years of age and since then has climbed the ladder of success, winning medals at state, national and international levels.

But Beahan’s success has not come without hard work; she trains six times a week, including four sessions under former elite hurdler Ryan Purcell.

“We usually do speed and endurance, as well as technical hurdles sessions,” she said.

“I also do technical sprinting work, because an important part of the race is the running between the hurdles.

“Ryan and the squad are just the best, they’re so supportive.”

The qualifying period (for Rio) for track events ends in July.

Beahan said she was still feeling positive.

“Going to Rio would be a dream come true,” Beahan said.

“It’s been my goal since I first competed at nationals in 2006 at 14 years of age (and won gold).

“It would just be amazing.”