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Lean, mean, Breen machine ready for final tilt at London

Date

Lee Gaskin

Melissa Breen (right) celebrates after winning the Women's 100 Metre open final during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Lakeside Stadium on April 14.

Melissa Breen (right) celebrates after winning the Women's 100 Metre open final during day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Lakeside Stadium on April 14. Photo: Getty Images

Rarely has anyone travelled as far as Melissa Breen is prepared to go for 0.02seconds.

The Canberra sprinter has mapped out a 40,000-kilometre round the world journey to chase the crucial fractions of a second needed to punch her ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The reigning national 100metres champion will arrive in Japan today for a series of meets where she hopes to run under the A-qualifying standard of 11.29s.

If Breen falls short, the 21-year-old will head to the United States next month in a desperate bid to book her place before the cut-off date of June 11.

''I'm in the best shape of my life and done two [personal best times] in Melbourne two weeks ago,'' she said.

''I'm looking forward to getting over there on a fast track and seeing what I can produce.''

The 2010 Commonwealth Games representative showed she is hitting form at the right time with sensational performances at the Australian titles not only in the 100m (11.31s), but also the 200m, her time of 23.30s just 0.2s outside the A-qualifying standard.

Having come so close to breaking the 100m mark, Breen is taking a relaxed approach into her latest attempt.

''It's been frustrating, but over the last month I've come to the realisation if I was meant to run that fast I will, and if I don't then I just wasn't meant to go to the Olympics,'' she said.

''A couple of months ago that would've really upset me, but now it's more of that holistic approach.

''When I go to Japan I will be executing my race as much as I can and let the results take care of themselves.''

Breen trains alongside Olympic-bound hurdlers Lauren Boden and Brendan Cole, who will arrive in Japan on Monday along with the squad's coach, Matt Beckenham.

''Hopefully you'll be reading in the paper on Monday morning that something amazing's happened over the weekend,'' Breen said.

''If it doesn't happen then I'll be looking for some options in America.''

Boden, meanwhile, has a date in the Middle East after yesterday being included in the lucrative opening Diamond League round of the season in Doha next month.

Australia's leading 400m hurdler is hoping to make a statement.

''It'll be interesting to see who's there and what shape they're in and maybe I can pick up a few early scalps,'' Boden said.

''My approach this year has been a bit different, making the Olympic team has provided me with a lot of confidence already.

''When I did go to a Diamond League, or you would see them on TV, I may have fallen into the trap of having too much respect for my competitors.

''I know if I can run the standard for the Olympics then I'm in with a shot to mix it with the best girls in the world.''

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