Beattie set for golden effort
CARLEE Beattie is in the gold medal form she hopes to carry through to the London Paralympics and beyond.
The former Warwick student was at Father Ranger Oval on Saturday for the Legends rugby league soon after returning from a month of competition in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Next week is one year from the start of the 2012 Paralympics, which follow the Olympics.
Beattie has already qualified for the Paralympics in the long jump, 100m and 200m and only has to maintain her form to be on the plane to her second Paralympics.
She has twice broken the world record and equalled it once in the F46 long jump this year.
In March, Beattie increased the existing record from 5.73 metres to 5.84m and set another new mark of 5.89m in April at the nationals in Melbourne.
She equalled her world record in winning the long jump at the German Athletes with a Disability Nationals in Singen last month.
Beattie won the 100m at Singen in 12.96s, .06 outside her personal best.
She was second in the 200m in 26.6s.
The Warwick athlete then competed in the London Disability Championships, where she won the long jump and was second in the 100m.
She jumped 5.79m in London after winning silver in the same event at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in Christchurch this year.
It was her first major trip to Europe, which she rated as a great experience.
“It was harder work than I expected,” Beattie said.
Her only previous international experience was at the worlds in Christchurch this year and the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008.
The competition in London was at Crystal Palace, one of the most famous venues in the world.
The Paralympic athletes competed in the morning and the Diamond League Meeting was in the afternoon.
Beattie saw Australian athletes win four events at the Diamond meeting, Sally Pearson in the 100m hurdles, Craig Mottram in the 5000m, Tamsyn Lewis in the 800m and Mitchell Watt in the long jump.
Beattie has had a fortnight off since returning from overseas but is back training this week under Brett Jones.
“It is time to knuckle down and train hard for London,” she said.
“I am aiming for gold in the long jump in London and would also like a medal in the 100m and 200m.”
Beattie won bronze in the 100m at the world championships in Christchurch three weeks before this year’s earthquake but rates 200m as her best sprint distance.
“I think my height helps with the longer distance,” Beattie said.
With a best of 5.89m in the long jump and a second in Christchurch, Beattie also competes in the event against able-bodied athletes and was eighth in the final of this year’s nationals in Melbourne.