It may just be another piece of the puzzle for aspiring Kialla-based Olympic racewalker Zoë Boldiston, but it is a damn exciting one.By Marc McGowan
It may just be another piece of the puzzle for aspiring Kialla-based Olympic racewalker Zoe Boldiston, but it is a damn exciting one.
Multiple national and state champion Boldiston, just 15, will compete in her first Australian team at next month’s sixth Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
Thirty countries will contest 17 sports during the five-day festival.
A simple email delivered the news on Wednesday night and Boldiston had dinner with her parents, siblings and grandparents to celebrate.
‘‘I didn’t really believe it at first. It was really exciting,’’ Boldiston said.
‘‘It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to make an Australian team and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my family and coach (Bendigo’s Paul Rance).
‘‘It still hasn’t really sunk in.’’
Boldiston’s national selection comes on the back of her latest title in the under-18 girls’ 5
The Notre Dame College student hopes it will not be her only national representation next year, with the World Junior Championships set to take place in Donetsk, Ukraine, in July.
Boldiston needs to lower her best time from 24
That sort of improvement is unlikely to occur by next month, but Boldiston would love to record a new personal standard in Sydney.
‘‘You never know how fast other people in other countries are, but I know they will be extremely fast,’’ she said.
‘‘I hope to get a PB and it would be great to win, but I’ve seen a couple of times from the Chinese girls.
‘‘I only saw a time for their 10
Boldiston had only recently returned to training at this time last year after doctors diagnosed her with a stress reaction in her spine and ordered her to have three months off physical activity.
But a diligent approach to recovery, including daily core exercises, helped her return with a bang and she won her fourth Australian title at the Australian Road Walking Championships in August.
The exercises are ongoing, as is the hard work, which Boldiston expected to be at an all-time level in the weeks leading up to the January 16 to 20 competition.
‘‘My coach has just told me it will be hard training,’’ she said.
‘‘He tells me the training sessions to do, but I’m in control of other stuff I do, like cross-training, bike riding or swimming.
‘‘My training will get harder than what it has been and then a week-and-a-half before (the event) it becomes less difficult. It’s kind of like a pyramid.’’
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