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Injured Games hurdler kicks off with carnivals

Date

Fleta Page Athletics

Lauren Boden.

Lauren Boden. Photo: Getty Images

Canberra hurdler Lauren Boden has revealed she nursed a knee injury into her Olympic Games debut this year. Now, the 24-year-old is set to return to racing this week for the first time since London.

Boden will contest sprints at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals beginning on Thursday, her first event since making the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles in England in August.

Boden revealed she had been carrying a tear in her patellar tendon since April.

"I had to keep managing it - it was fine, I was still able to do all the running and hurdling sessions that I needed to in the lead-up to London, but probably in doing that, I may have made it worse," she said.

"Once I got back from London, the smart thing to do was just completely rest it in terms of track work and just get the specific rehab under way and manage it the best we can."

While she has been progressing well with a lot of cross training, Boden isn't rushing her return to hurdling as she focuses on her 2013 world championships campaign.

She said she was going back to basics in training, trying to ramp up her speed before bringing hurdling back into her training regime.

"Hopefully that will make my 400 hurdles a lot quicker and more efficient," Boden said.

"If I don't run that well in Tasmania this week, it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things … there's a lot of other things ahead that I have to look forward to, obviously world champs which are in August, so realistically for me I don't have to be ready and hurdling until March-April."

Boden will race 120 and 200-metre events at Devonport, Burnie and possibly Latrobe, but handicappers won't take her injury into account, or the fact she has only done "a handful of track sessions" since competing in London.

"They're probably not even aware of it, it's one of those things initially you don't really want to tell people about it,'' she said.

"I think I'll probably just be handicapped on my results from last year which obviously were quite good, so I'd say I've got some pretty tough marks."

Fellow Olympian and training partner Melissa Breen will also be racing in the carnivals, starting with the 120-metre Latrobe Gift on Thursday.

Breen will be running from scratch in the 120 gifts and in the 70 race in Devonport which she won last year, but she's looking forward to a one metre start in the 200 event.

"I actually won the 70 at Devonport last year. It was a very, very close finish and I think all the girls have got at least two metres more in front of me than they were last year,'' Breen said.

"So hopefully I'm at least two metres quicker than I was last year and everything will be fine.

''Obviously I would love to win there, there's always cash on offer and that's a pretty big incentive, but knowing the handicappers and everything like that, I shouldn't win; I should be handicapped out of it.''

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