New record-holder Melissa Breen.

New women's 100m record-holder Melissa Breen. Photo: Melissa Adams

Athletics Australia says sprint queen Melissa Breen must run blistering 100 metre times consistently to earn funding, despite the Canberran breaking a 20-year Australian record on Sunday.

Marathon legend Robert de Castella has demanded Athletics Australia concede it made a mistake by overlooking Breen in its new funding model.

Breen set a national 100 metres record by posting 11.11 seconds at the ACT championships on Sunday, breaking Melinda Gainsford-Taylor’s 11.12 seconds mark which was set in 1994.

How Melissa Breen's record time stacks up.

How Melissa Breen's record time stacks up.

Breen’s time would have won her a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and earned her semi-final berths at the 2012 Olympic Games and 2013 world championships.

But Athletics Australia officials are refusing to guarantee the fastest woman in Australian sprinting history a financial boost.

Asked if Breen was on the cusp of a funding spot, Athletics Australia chief executive Dallas O’Brien said Breen must produce world-class times consistently.

The time was posted in ideal conditions on Australian Institute of Sport’s new track rated one of the fastest in the country.

‘‘By running that sort of time it puts her in the mix, [but] she does need to do that reasonably regularly or up around that mark,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘I don’t sit on the panel but they’ll reassess it, they assess where athletes are up against the rest of the world and consistency is certainly part of that.

‘‘It’s not about proving people wrong, there needs to be a certain level of consistency.

‘‘At [2012] Olympics it puts her about 11th, but what’s got to be remembered is if you look at finalists’ and semi-finalists’ times, they all performed at that level over a certain amount of time.

‘‘She’s still relatively young, it’s a massive improvement from 11.25 to 11.11, we’re thrilled for Melissa she’s been able to do that.

‘‘I’m sure she and her coach is aware of it, it’s now for her to consistently show it and hopefully she can do that.’’

Breen has met the qualifying time to be considered for the "development" level of funding from Athletics Australia.

However, 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.

Breen finished 27th at the 2012 Olympics in a time of 11.34 seconds, and fifth (11.47 seconds) in her heat at last year’s world titles.

Marathon great de Castella was adamant Athletics Australia made a mistake by overlooking Breen.

‘‘Anyone can make a mistake, and quite clearly in Mel’s situation she’s demonstrated loud and clear she’s the best female sprinter we’ve ever had,’’ de Castella said.

‘‘I’m optimistic Athletics Australia and the powers-that-be are mature enough to reflect on their decision, admit they’ve made a mistake and come out and give 100 per cent support to Mel.’’

Gainsford-Taylor, a mentor of Breen’s, said it was ‘‘sad’’ athletics struggles to find the finances to help people compared to other sports.

‘‘It’s sad that our sport hasn’t got enough money and funds to help people like [Breen],’’ Gainsford-Taylor said.

‘‘You see so much money in other sports, it would be nice for Mel to get that help as well.

‘‘You always need financial help, it’s as simple as that. It is a shame, to get the funding you have to get the medals but to get the medals you need the funding.’’

Athletics Australia will review the allocation of its contracts in April after the national championships, and Breen has presented an overwhelmingly compelling case to be welcomed back to the fold.

Her time would have been good enough to win gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games by 0.26 seconds, and make the semi-finals at the 2012 London Olympics.

It is also well under the 11.21 second benchmark required to be eligible for the ‘international’ contract level, the second-highest level under the National Athlete Support System.