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Melissa's off to London

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Canberra sprinter Melissa Breen wanted to ‘‘scream my lungs out’’ when she got a fairytale call to tell her she would make her Olympic Games debut in London.

Breen was one of 54 athletes nominated by Athletics Australia today for selection in the Olympic team.

Despite not securing an A-Qualifying time for the 100m sprint, Breen was given a discretionary selection for a dream trip to London where she will race in her pet event and the 4x100m relay.

The 21-year-old burst into tears when officials called her on Tuesday night.

But she had to bottle her excitement until this afternoon when the team was announced.

‘‘When I saw the Athletics Australia number pop up my heart was in my mouth,’’ an elated Breen told The Canberra Times.


‘‘There were some tears of joy, it’s been a tough month to get through.

‘‘But I’ve survived, I’ve trained really hard for it and this is what I’ve been thinking about for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an Olympian.

‘‘Since when I was three years old I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics. Just talking about it now makes me emotional, I’ve wanted this forever and I’m lucky enough I get to do it this year.

‘‘It’s just pure happiness and a bit of relief.’’

Breen’s Olympic dream was delicately poised on a knife edge after she narrowly missed the qualifying time.

Breen ran a blistering 100m in 11.27seconds in Japan in April, but officials adjusted her time to 11.292 secs - just two one thousandths of a second outside the A-qualifying time.

She made a decision with coach Matt Beckenham to rest and not continue chasing the time.

It meant her fate rested in the hands of selectors.

For the past two months Breen has patiently waiting for the call which would change her life.

Of course, being left out would be a cruel blow given how close Breen went to the international qualifying time.

But she had her doubts and struggled to remain focused with her London pursuit uncertain.

‘‘There were a lot of things indicating I could get selected, but until you get that call, you just don’t know,’’ Breen said.

‘‘It was always case by case and I’m just awfully, awfully glad that my case was strong enough to get selected.

‘‘We had a champagne and some chocolates last night ... it’s an amazing feeling, I can’t describe it.’’

Breen will leave Canberra next week to start a training block in Europe before realising her childhood dream at the Games.

Her training partners Lauren Boden and Brendan Cole will also head to Europe with coach Beckenham.

It caps off a stellar year for Breen, who is the reigning 100m and 200m national champion  and also won the women’s Stawell Gift.

She represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she made the semi-finals.