Click here to submit your sports results for The Canberra Times

Canberra hurdler Lauren Wells (nee Boden) chases Debbie Flintoff-King and seventh national title

Canberra hurdler Lauren Wells (nee Boden) was born five days after Debbie Flintoff-King won her gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, and by Sunday the pair could each have won seven national titles in the women's 400-metre hurdle.

Melissa Breen's coach Matthew Beckenham says the sprint queen, who became Australia's fastest ever woman in February, had shown she was fast enough to beat Australian golden girl Sally Pearson, now she just needs to start believing it.

Wells won her first national title in 2005 and is looking to go back-to-back at this year's championships in Melbourne after last year's triumph gave her a sixth title.

She will run in the heats on Friday, with the semi-finals the following day and the decider on Sunday, with the nationals doubling as the Commonwealth Games qualifiers.

But the nationals have not been her main focus as she has geared her entire preparation around performing at the Glasgow Games, which start in July.

It has meant her times have been slightly slower, but she said that is because she has not tapered her training off to compete this summer.


That will not happen until Glasgow.

She has run several B-qualifiers this season and while she has not recorded an A time, victory on Sunday will earn her a ticket to the Comm Games where she is aiming for the final and a podium finish.

Wells will head to Japan to compete next month and then go to Europe in preparation for Glasgow.

The 25-year-old has yet to meet the woman she could join with seven national titles, but hoped she would one day.

"[Equalling Debbie Flintoff-King's record] would be a huge honour and an amazing achievement, but it's not why I come to nationals, to win medals,'' Wells said.

''It's all about cementing my spot on the team for Commonwealth Games, and that's really the aim of this whole year – to not only get on the team but to make a big impact in Glasgow and feature heavily in the final and in the medals.

"I've actually never met her in person.

"It would be great to talk to her because the year she won the Olympics was the year I was born.

"I think I was born a week or two after she won her gold medal.

"It's kind of a historic year for both of us, and who better to talk to and get advice from than an Olympic champion?"

While Wells needs a win to ensure she goes to Glasgow, Breen has qualified.

Beckenham felt the next step for Breen was believing she could beat another Olympic champion when the 100-metre heats are held on Friday and semis and final on Saturday.

The 23-year-old has only ever beaten Pearson once and her coach felt a change in mindset was all that was required to change that.

"It's a process that she's just getting used to that she's an 11.11-seconds runner and dealing with that from a mental point of view. I don't think she's really accepted that yet," Beckenham said.

"She's beaten Sally, she will beat Sally again and it will be a fantastic rivalry."

He was confident Athletics Australia would reverse its decision to overlook Breen for funding when it performs a review after the nationals.