No shortcuts ... Melissa Breen. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra sprinter Melissa Breen has vowed not to cut any corners as she tries to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games despite being deemed ''worthless'' by Athletics Australia.
The fastest woman in the country over 100 metres received an email on Thursday dismissing her appeal to be added to the National Athlete Support Structure funding list released in September.
The 23-year-old met the qualifying time to be considered for the ''development'' level of funding, but the organisation didn't believe she showed enough improvement to suggest the London Olympian could make the final at either the next two world championships or the 2016 Olympic Games.
''We wanted to go through the appeal process to exhaust every avenue, but it's gut-wrenching to know they don't want me to be a part of it,'' Breen said.
''They have considered me [not valuable] and that I'm not capable of achieving things in this sport.
''It's hard to accept you're own federation sees you as nothing.
''That's how they have assessed me and think I'm worthless.''
Breen represented Australia in the 100m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the past two world championships and last year's Olympics Games.
She lowered her personal best time to 11.25 seconds in March this year before injuries and illness affected her performances at the world titles in Russia.
Breen will continue to train with coach Matt Beckenham and has her sights set on breaking the Australian record during the summer season and qualifying for next year's Commonwealth Games.
Her long-term goal remains to be the first Australian woman to crack the 11-second barrier.
''I will not cut corners, I'm a perfectionist in every sense of the word,'' Breen said.
''We'll find a way for it to work.
''It might not be the same as it was before, but there's no way I'm going to do it at 80 per cent.
''Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it's impossible.
''There's nothing easy about what's ahead, but I believe I can do it and my coach believes I can do it, that's all I need.''
Without any funding to fall back on, Breen is unsure whether she will continue with her athletics career beyond 2016.
''I saw myself running as long as I could, going to 2020 and still a part of me sees that, but I need to survive,'' Breen said.
''You need to be able to pay for things to make a living, so it's something I need to reassess.
''I'm relieved in a way that the appeal is done and I can wipe my hands of this whole situation.
''I'm ready to train my butt off to give myself every chance to break the Australian record this season, to push myself harder than I ever have before.''
Breen will return to racing at the Queanbeyan Gift from November 22-23 and is looking to the Canberra corporate sector for financial support.
''I'm a local girl and I think I could be a great asset to anyone,'' Breen said.