Charlotte van Veenendaal.
Charlotte van Veenendaal. Nev Madsen

Relay hiccup spurs on van Veenendaal

TOOWOOMBA sprinter Charlotte van Veenendaal has returned home from the IAAF World Championship in Daegu more determined than ever to succeed on the international stage.

A member of Australia's 4x100m women's relay team, van Veenendaal admits to being hugely disappointed after she mistimed her run during the baton exchange between her and Melissa Breen in the semi-finals. After taking off too early, van Veenendaal had to slow down to give Breen the chance to pass the baton in the change-over zone.

"I was devastated and I blame myself, but the team was really supportive," van Veenandaal said. "I think competing at the top level like that is something we need to do a bit more to bridge the gap between training and competing at the Olympics."

Despite the heartbreak of missing the relay final, van Veenendaal said the whole experience of attending the world championship was something she would never forget.

"I was there when Usain Bolt broke out of the blocks and when Sally (Pearson) ran so well," van Veenendaal said. "Just the excitement of the Australian team (when Pearson won) was something I'd never experienced."

Van Veenendaal arrived back in Toowoomba on Tuesday and will take a brief holiday before returning to training ahead of the Australian Olympic trials in March next year.

"When you get to these events, you do realise the level of training you have to be at," she said.

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